"We welcome their (six JVM MLAs) joining of the BJP, which will strengthen the coalition," AJSU party spokesman Dev Sharan Bhagat said, reacting to the JVM MLAs joining the saffron party.

"We also hope the mandate given to the pre-poll alliance partners - BJP and AJSU, should be respected by filling up the remaining (seven) berths in the Cabinet from among the original winners from the two parties,” he said.

"Otherwise a wrong message will go among the electorate, who ended years of political uncertainty in Jharkhand," Bhagat said, hinting at the party's reservation against induction of any of the six MLAs who had joined the BJP after winning the recently held Assembly elections as JVM candidates.

Jharkhand can have a maximum of 12 ministers, including the chief minister. Besides Chief Minister Raghubar Das, three BJP members and one AJSU MLA took oath on December 28, leaving seven berths vacant.

"There should not be any delay in the expansion," Bhagat said.

The BJP and AJSU party won 37 and five seats respectively in the 81-member House, which has now gone up to 82 after the nomination of a member from the Anglo-Indian Community on January 28.

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