Former Chief Minister and senior Congress leader V Vaithilingam was on Friday unanimously elected as Speaker of the 14th Puducherry Assembly. As soon as the proceedings began, Protem Speaker V P Sivakolundhu announced that Vaithilingam has been elected unanimously as Speaker as he was the only candidate who had filed papers when the deadline ended on Friday afternoon.
66 year old Vaithilingam was escorted to the chair by Chief Minister V Narayanasamy, his ministerial colleagues, DMK legislator R Siva and opposition AIADMK legislature wing leader A Anbalagan.
All eight legislators of the opposition AINRC, including former Chief Minister N Rangasamy, were conspicuous by their absence throughout the day’s sitting of the House. After assuming office Vaithilingam announced that Protem Speaker Sivakolundhu was elected unanimously as Deputy Speaker as his was the only nomination filed for the post.
64 year old Sivakolundhu was conducted to the seat by the Chief Minister, his cabinet colleagues and the AIADMK Legislature wing leader. The Chief Minister, ministers and all legislators, including first timers of both ruling and opposition blocks, complimented the new incumbents on assuming the posts.
First time legislator and Parliamentary Secretary to the CM A John Kumar sprang a surprise by singing a few lines of a Tamil movie song to point out that ‘man becomes a God and his philanthropy would also elevate the man to greater heights.’ Another first timer V Vijayaveny (Congress) said she had become legislator from Nettapakkam reserved segment largely due to support and encouragement of the new Speaker.
Replying to the felicitations Vaithilingam said he would adopt a balanced approach for overall development of the Union Territory by measuring upto expectations of all members. He said Puducherry now had a dynamic Lt Governor Kiran Bedi and it would be very easy for the UT to march ahead with her cooperation.
Vaithilingam also said training for first time members would help to know of the niceties of the job of legislator. Earlier, the new Deputy Speaker also acknowledged the felicitations of the members. After replying to the members’ felicitations Vaithilingam adjourned the House sine die.