Soren defers Jharkhand cabinet expansion again

Ranchi: Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren has again deferred expansion of the cabinet and requested Governor Draupadi Murmu to postpone the swearing-in ceremony, scheduled on Friday.

Soren said it had been put off as a humanitarian gesture over the “heart-shattering” incident at Burugulikera village in the West Singhbhum district. Terming the killing of seven villagers as “disturbing”, Soren told the Governor in the backdrop of this, it would not be appropriate to expand the government.

The Raj Bhavan had set the 1 p.m. on January 24 deadline for the cabinet expansion at Birsa Mandap. However, at 6.30 p.m. on Thursday, the Chief Minister visited the Raj Bhavan and requested the Governor to postpone it.

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Meanwhile, a tug-of-war is on among leaders to get ministerial berths.

At a meeting between Soren and the Congress central leadership, the decision to induct four cabinet Ministers from the Congress quota was taken. Of this, Jharkhand Congress chief Rameshwar Oraon and Congress Legislature Party leader Alamgir Alam had taken oath with the Chief Minister on December 29.

Many Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) legislators are also positioning themselves for ministerial berths. Soren is expected to accommodate six JMM leaders in the ministry during the expansion.

Soren is also finding it tough to manage a large number of senior party legislators.

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