‘Not resigning’, says sulking Minister Anand Singh after meeting CM


Team Udayavani, Aug 12, 2021, 9:04 AM IST

Bengaluru: The fortnight-old Basavaraj Bommai government seems to have sailed through its first major challenge by mollifying a sulking Karnataka Minister Anand Singh who had dropped a hint that he would resign his position only to change his mind later.

Sources close to the Minister said he was keen on getting the forest department which he held in the previous B S Yediyurappa government, along with the energy portfolio. ‘Against his wish, he was given a tourism, ecology and environment portfolio,’ they added.

As he expressed his displeasure, he also shut down his MLA office at Hospet in the newly carved Vijayanagar district.

Before meeting the Chief Minister in Bengaluru, Singh said in Hospet, ‘My political life started from this Venu Gopalakrishna Temple. I would like to tell you that I don’t know whether my political life may also end here.’ ‘If I have the blessings of Gopalakrishna, there may be a new beginning as well,’ he added.

Singh had a meeting with the Chief Minister who was accompanied by Revenue Minister R Ashoka and BJP MLA Narasimha Naik alias Raju Gouda.

After the meeting, the Chief Minister said there were no differences of opinion between him and Singh and that both were ‘united’.

Conceding that Singh had wanted a ‘better’ portfolio, Bommai said he explained to him the ‘prevailing situation’ and assured him that he will speak to the party’s central leadership.

‘His point was that he can take one more portfolio according to his capacity,’ Bommai said.

Singh said he had a detailed discussion with Bommai and he has been asked to ‘go together’.

‘It’s true that I had asked for a change in portfolio but I never said I am going to resign. The question of resigning does not arise at all,’ Singh said.

He added that Bommai has assured him that the issue will be resolved by ‘sitting together’.

To drive home the point that the differences have been resolved and Singh was not going to resign, Ashoka said the minister would be hoisting the tricolour in Vijayanagar district on August 15.

Prior to meeting Bommai, Singh and Gouda had called on former Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa at his residence and had a discussion for about 25 minutes.

After the meeting, Gouda told reporters that Singh explained his point to Yediyurappa. In reply, the Lingayat strongman asked both of them to be ‘calm and content’.

After Yediyurappa resigned on July 26, coinciding with his two years in office, Bommai succeeded him as Chief Minister on July 28 and on August 4, he expanded his cabinet with 29 ministers.

He retained most of the ministers in the Yediyurappa government barring a few who were dropped including senior BJP MLA S Suresh Kumar.

Barely a fortnight after Bommai took over as CM, dissidence seems to be growing among a section of BJP MLAs and ministers over the cabinet expansion.

Sources in the BJP said MLAs S A Ramadas, Abhay Patil, Ramesh Jarkiholi, M P Renukacharya, Arvind Bellad, Basanagouda Patil Yatnal and Umesh Kumathalli are among those sulking over denial of ministerial berth to them.

Another sulking minister N Nagaraj (MTB), who had accepted the decision of the Chief Minister, told reporters on Wednesday that Bommai had promised him his portfolio would be changed and he has faith in him.

Nagaraj and Singh were among the 17 Congress and JD (S) MLAs, who were disqualified in 2019.

Later, 16 of them joined the BJP and became legislators again after winning byelections. A majority of them became Ministers.

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