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Puducherry got its first woman minister in the cabinet after 41 years, after inducting Chandira Priyanga, the All India N.R. Congress (AINRC) MLA (SC) from Nedungadu constituency, Karaikal district.
Priyanga is among the five ministers to be part of the cabinet led by Chief Minister and AINRC founder leader N Rangasamy on Sunday, June 27. Of the five, two MLAs are from BJP, and three others are from ally AINRC.
She is the second woman minister after Renuka Appadurai, who was elected in the 1980s and had led the education department under the Congress-DMK led government.
Priyanga's father, late M Chandrakasu was also a minister in the Union Territory.
Speaking to The Indian Express, the 32-year-old said it was a proud moment for her and her family. She expressed her gratitude towards the Chief Minister for believing in her and electing her over several senior leaders.
The minister said her primary focus would include women empowerment, education, protection of child rights, and rural area development.
She proactively encourages women to take up politics and serve the country, given the less number of women's participation in several fields. However, a change has come, even though it is gradual.
"We had women in the assembly last time, now we have representation in the ministry. Whoever has the ability is now chosen beyond gender," she told the media.
Recalling her father and party's support, Priyanga said she stepped into politics after her father's condition deteriorated in 2014. While she helped him process things, the leaders of AINRC also supported her.
The minister said she would address all the primary issues of the people of the Karaikal district and make the Union Territory a model of development.
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