Driven by superstition and a sense of political insecurity, many newly sworn in Jharkhand ministers are waiting for an auspicious day to take up their offices to ensure a longer stay in the hot seat.
Barring a few, most of the ministers have approached astrologers and priests for an auspicious time.
"I have been advised by my priest to join office on Monday at 11.15 am. I will follow his advice," said Kamlesh Singh, irrigation and food supplies minister.
Like Singh, half a dozen ministers of the Madhu Koda government did not join office either on Friday or Saturday.
Friday happened to be the 13th of the month, considered unlucky by many, and most ministers did not want to be associated with the "unlucky" number.
Among other ministers who have not joined office are Deputy Chief Minister Sudhir Mahto, Education Minister Bandu Tirkey, Agriculture Minister Nalin Soren and Social Welfare Minister Jobha Manjhi.
"Who wants to risk by joining on the 13th (Friday)? The number 13 is unlucky while Saturday is not considered an auspicious day to begin new work," said a minister.
Madhu Koda distributed portfolios of ministers on Thursday, 24 days after they took the oath of office and secrecy.
Some ministers said they would join after their offices are cleaned up.
"Dengue has not spared Ranchi. So I have asked officials to clean the office before I sit there," said Deputy Chief Minister Sudhir Mahto.
Stephen Marandi, another deputy chief minister, did not join as he is unhappy about the non-allocation of the energy department to him.
However, there are some ministers who do not care for superstition.
Ministers Harinarayan Rai and Dulal Bhuiya joined their offices on Friday while another minister Chandra Prakash Chaudhary did so on Saturday.
"There is work piled up in my department," Rai said.
"No problem with starting the tenure on Saturday," said Chaudhary.
The Madhu Koda government enjoys wafer thin majority and most of the political parties and independent legislators supporting the government are not happy with the portfolio allocation.