The 22—day—old Hemant Soren ministry in Jharkhand was expanded on Sunday with the induction of six new faces, taking the total number of ministers to nine including the Chief Minister.

Governor Syed Ahmed administered the oath to Champai Soren, Simon Marandi, Hazi Hussan Ansari, Jaiprakash Bhai Patel (all JMM), Suresh Paswan (RJD) and Geetashree Oraon (Congress) at Raj Bhavan in Ranchi.

Speaking to the media later, the chief minister said he would undertake another cabinet expansion soon.

Mr. Soren said his government’s aim was to step up development by inducting three more ministers to take his cabinet’s final strength to 12.

As per constitutional provision Jharkhand can have a maximum of 12 ministers including the chief minister.

Hemant Soren—led UPA government (JMM, Congress, RJD and some smaller parties and Independents) had taken oath on July 13, ending President’s rule imposed on January 18 due to political instability after the JMM withdrew support to the BJP—led government under Arjun Munda.

Mr. Soren said his government was moving in the right direction by taking one step at a time. “Very soon the state will pick up rapidity on the path of development,” he said.