Karnataka chief minister, Congress spokesperson, general secretary of the All India Congress Committee (AICC)... M Veerappa Moily has held many positions in his 30 years in the Congress but has never been a Lok Sabha MP or a central minister.
On Friday, all that changed for the 69-year-old veteran when he was named cabinet minister along with 18 others in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's new government.
The law graduate from Marpadi village in Karnataka's Dakshina Kannada district was a familiar face in the run-up to the 2009 elections as he articulated the Congress point of view in several controversies. In the fag end of the month long election, he was seen to be sidelined after making adverse comments against Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar who the Congress had been attempting to woo.
Moily, who has successfully made the leap from state politics to the central stage after having won his first Lok Sabha election from Chikballapur, heads the Overseeing Committee appointed for Implementation of Reservations for Other Backward Classes (OBC) by the government. He is also chairperson of the Second Administrative Reforms Commission of India.
The man, who has to his credit the National Law School in Bangalore, was chief minister of Karnataka from 1992-94, and leader of the opposition in the Karnataka assembly before that from 1983-85.
Moily has held several portfolios in various Congress ministries in Karnataka, having been minister for finance, small scale industries, law, youth service, culture, information, parliamentary affairs and education at various points.
When he was the chief minister, Moily led the implementation of economic reforms in the state. He is responsible for drafting and implementing the Karnataka Land Reforms Act in 1974.
Moily, who has presented several Karnataka budgets, also set records of revenue surplus during every stint as finance minister.
Moily is the chief architect of the new Common Entrance Test (CET) system launching an admission policy for technical education founded on merit, transparency and social justice.
Besides establishing the nation's leading law institute, he also set up six universities - Kannada University, Rajiv Gandhi Medical University, Visweshwariah Technical University, Karnataka Open University, Mangalore University and Gulbarga University.
Moily, who practiced law in the courts of Karkala, Mangalore, High Court in Bangalore and at the Supreme Court of India, is author of the epic poem "Sri Ramayana Mahanveshanam" in five volumes containing 42,295 lines in Kannada and is being translated in Hindi.
Moily, who is a columnist, has also authored "Musings on India," a two-volume collection containing articles on contemporary issues, including public finance.