Ranchi: Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Tuesday expanded his one-month-old ministry and inducted seven ministers into his Council of Ministers.
Governor Droupadi Murmu administered the oath of office and secrecy to the newly inducted ministers in a simple ceremony at Raj Bhavan in Ranchi.
Five of the new ministers are from the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and two belong to the Congress. The JMM-Congress-RJD coalition government assumed power in the state on December 29 last year, ousting the BJP-led regime.
Mr Soren inducted Champai Soren, Haji Hussain Ansari, Jagarnath Mahato, Joba Manjhi, Mithilesh Kumar Thakur (from JMM), Banna Gupta and Badal Patralekh (from Congress).
Mr Mahato and Mr Thakur are first-time ministers and Ms Manjhi had been a minister in the previous NDA governments before she joined the JMM. The other four were ministers in the previous UPA governments.
With five newly inducted ministers belonging to the JMM, the senior ruling party has six members in the council of ministers, including the chief minister, while the Congress has four and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) one.
Now the council of ministers has 11 members, leaving the scope to induct one more minister.
As per the constitutional provisions, Jharkhand can have a maximum of 12 ministers including the chief minister.
The previous Raghubar Das government had run the dispensation with only 11 ministers all through its five-year term.
It was the first expansion after Mr Soren took oath as the 11th chief minister of Jharkhand on December 29, 2019 along with Congress leaders Alamgir Alam and Rameshwar Oraon and Satyanand Bhokta of the RJD.
The expansion of ministry was earlier scheduled to be held on January 24. It was postponed at the request of the chief minister in the wake of the killings of seven villagers in West Singhbhum district.