It is a cruel slide down the power ladder for Bihar's ministers with President's Rule set to become reality and state Chief Secretary KAH Subramanian ordering that all files be removed from their offices.
"I have directed the secretaries of all departments to take back files from ministers in the outgoing Rabri Devi government," Subramanian said.
And that includes caretaker Chief Minister Rabri Devi, whose Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has enjoyed 15 years of uninterrupted power in the state.
The principal secretary to Rabri Devi had accordingly been ordered to return all the files.
In a crueler blow, Subramanian said he would issue a separate circular for withdrawing facilities allotted to ministers, including vehicles, telephones and Government staff.
Subramanian's order left about two dozen ministers worried about how they would live without the palatial homes, beacon cars and the other frills of power that came with being a power centre in the Government.
Some admitted frankly that it would take some time to get rid of the power hangover.
"It is not easy to manage life without facilities, which were part of day-to-day life. The sudden change will be difficult," said one such minister on condition of anonymity.
Added another senior minister: "Life is going to be difficult because now, we have to play the role of the Opposition."
Others were more philosophical. State RJD president Abdul Bari Siddiqui, who was also a minister, said he envisaged no problems. "We will live like anyone out of power."