Ranchi, Sep 20 (IANS) Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda is likely to expand his cabinet after a three-day conclave of its ally Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) that began in Dumka Monday, party sources said.
'JMM has to finalise the list of its party legislators' names who will get a place in the cabinet. It seems that the JMM deferred the cabinet expansion considering their conclave...,' a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) source told IANS.
Munda, a BJP leader, became the eighth chief minister of Jharkhand Sep 11 with the support of the JMM, All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU), the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) and two independent legislators. He proved his majority in the state assembly Sep 14.
Munda took oath along with two deputy chief ministers -- Sudesh Mahto of AJSU and Hemant Soren, son of JMM chief Shibu Soren.
The cabinet expansion was expected after Munda's arrival from New Delhi. Munda arrived in Ranchi Sunday after spending four days in New Delhi where he met senior BJP leaders L.K. Advani and Sushma Swaraj among others.
Asked about the expansion of the cabinet, he said: 'The cabinet will be expanded soon.'
The functioning of the government is being affected since the cabinet expansion has not taken place.
Jharkhand can have a maximum 12 ministers, including the chief minister, under the statutory provisions.
At least nine JMM legislators are vying to get a place in the cabinet. According to government sources, the JMM will get a total of five berths in the cabinet.
The JMM conclave is being held in the second capital of Dumka and is being attended by party chief Shibu Soren, Deputy Chief Minister Hemant Soren, legislators and central committee members.