Shillong, Mar.12 : Seven MLAs, including three independents, of the newly-floated Meghalaya United Alliance were sworn in as ministers in the cabinet headed by D D Lapang on Wednesday.
Governor S S Sidhu administered the oath of office and secrecy to the seven at a hurriedly-convened swearing-in ceremony at the Raj Bhavan in Shillong.
Former deputy chief minister and Congress MLA from Ampattigiri Mukul Sangma retained his portfolio as the Deputy Chief Minister.
Former Congress minister Prestone Tynsong, former speaker M M Danggo and Congress veteran R C Laloo were inducted into the cabinet besides independent MLA Abu Taher Mondal.
Two other independent MLAs - Limison Sangma and Ismail R Marak - were sworn in as ministers of state.
Four other berths were kept empty.
Asked why four ministerial berths were kept vacant, Lapang quipped "they would be inducted later on first-come-first-serve basis."
He hinted that the four berths could be filled by those MLAs who opted to join the government from the camp of the rival Meghalaya Progressive Alliance.
Exuding confidence that he would be able to prove a majority in the floor of the House, Lapang said, "the MUA was holding consultations with like-minded friends to join the alliance." (ANI with inputs)