Ranchi, July 22 (IANS) He has been in power for six months, but it is still not clear when Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das will induct the 12th man in his cabinet.
The total strength of the Jharkhand assembly is 82, including an Anglo-Indian who is nominated. Under law, the state can have 12 ministers including the chief minister.
Das, who completed six months in office on June 28, took oath along with three ministers.
He later expanded his ministry by inducting seven ministers, taking the
strength of the cabinet to 11.
Six of the eight legislators of the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P) defected and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party after the election.
Of these six, two joined the cabinet. The post of the 12th minister remains vacant.
A BJP source told IANS that the chief minister had kept the 12th slot vacant to pacify the rebel legislators in the party.
There was large-scale resentment within the BJP after two of the JVM-P defectors were accorded cabinet berth.
In the 2014 assembly polls, the BJP and the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) won 39 and four seats respectively.
The alliance had a majority in the house but nevertheless the BJP welcomed the JVM-P legislators.
The main opposition Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) wants the governor to take note of the size of the cabinet.
On two previous occasions, following the intervention of two governors, then chief minister Arjun Munda took the cabinet strength to 12.
The ruling BJP, however, says that this is “non-issue” and that the chief minister will induct the 12th person in his government if and when he wants.