Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul M Sangma on Saturday inducted eight more ministers, all of them Congress legislators and including the five who had rebelled against his predecessor, expanding his council of ministers to 12.
Governor RS Mooshahary administered the oath to the eight ministers, including a woman, at a ceremony at the Raj Bhavan. Three of them were ministers in the previous DD Lapang government.
Congress legislators Rowell Lyngdoh, HDR Lyngdoh, Frankenstein W Momin, Augustine D Marak and first timer Founder Strong Cajee - all of whom had demanded the ouster of Lapang - were sworn in as cabinet ministers. Rowell Lyngdoh, a former home minister, was named the deputy chief minister.
RC Laloo, Prestone Tynsong and Ampareen Lyngdoh, the lone woman legislator in the house, retained their ministerial berths.
Independents Limison D Sangma and Ismail R Marak as well as lone Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM) legislator Paul Lyngdoh, who was instrumental in toppling the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)-led government and bringing the Congress to power last year, were dropped.
The swearing-in ceremony was held after Sangma returned from New Delhi after holding consultations with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and other party leaders.
Senior Congress legislators who couldn't find place in the cabinet will be appointed as parliamentary secretaries, he said.
"Their (Congress legislators) services will be utilised in such a way to allow them to perform at the optimum," Sangma said.
Sangma was sworn in April 20, along with AT Mondal (Independent) and Bindo Mathew Lanong and J.A. Lyngdoh of the United Democratic Party (UDP).
All three were members of the Lapang ministry.
The Congress has 28 legislators in the 60-member house and has the support of 10 UDP members, five independents and one KHNAM legislator. The NCP, which is the main opposition, has 15 members.