Though Vilasrao Deshmukh took charge as minister of science and technology on Tuesday, Srikant Jena, who is reportedly sulking over the portfolio allocated to him, was still missing from office, eight days after being appointed as the new minister of state (independent charge) for statistics and programme implementation.
Ministry sources claimed Jena would join office sometime this week before flying to Tezpur on Saturday to inaugurate a new branch of the Indian Statistical Institute.
Officials of Jena ministry said he had already met the secretary, additional and joint secretaries of the department last week.
The minister's office in Sardar Patel Bhawan is also getting a facelift.
Jena's private secretary Rajesh Agarwal's presence in the office on Tuesday was an indication that Jena will not try to test the patience of the Prime Minister and the Congress high command.
"I am sitting here obviously because my minister had asked me to do so," Agarwal told HT.