Guess what is common between VK Krishna Menon and eight ministers sworn in with the CM and DyCM in Karnataka?

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BySouth First Desk

Published May 24, 2023 | 8:04 PMUpdated May 24, 2023 | 8:04 PM

Siddaramaiah swearing in

The Vidhana Soudha in Karnataka is back to its busy normal after more-than-a-month’s lull.

Siddaramaiah has taken over as the chief minister after vanquishing the BJP in the electoral battle. He has his office on the third floor of the majestic Vidhana Soudha, a fine specimen of neo-Dravidian architecture.

A board outside the office proudly identifies the incumbent as the chief minister. There is a board outside Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar’s office too.

Ministers KH Muniyappa, Ramalinga Reddy, Dr G Parameshwar, KJ George, MB Patil, Zameer Ahmed Khan, Satish Jarkiholi, and Priyank Kharge, too, took the oath of office along with Siddaramaiah on 20 May.

However, they do not have name boards outside their offices. They have to wait a few days more — till portfolios are finalised — to get the boards.

Also read: Siddaramaiah takes oath as CM of Karnataka

They are ministers. They have official cars. They even have their offices allotted. But minister of what? That is the question yet to be answered.

Several leaders are waiting to be ministers, and discussions are on in the Congress. Some ministerial hopefuls even declined to be the Speaker.

Other ministers are likely to be sworn in on 26 or 27 May. Till then, the eight ministers will have to remain without portfolios — and name boards.

Ministers without portfolios are not new to India. K Natwar Singh was the Minister for External Affairs in the Manmohan Singh Cabinet when the Paul Volcker report bomb exploded.

The Oil-for-Food scam forced the prime minister to expel Natwar Singh from the Ministry of External Affairs but retained him as a minister without portfolio.

VK Krishna Menon in the first Nehru ministry to Arun Jaitley in the first Modi Cabinet, India has seen several ministers without any portfolio assigned to them for days — for different reasons.

Menon was later given the charge of Defence after winning from Bombay (Mumbai) to enter Parliament.