Sulking over the portfolio allocation, Karnataka Minister Anand Singh on Wednesday dropped a hint that he would resign his position a week after assuming charge. Singh assumed charge as Minister for Tourism, Ecology and Environment, a week ago. 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 energy portfolio.
“Against his wish, he was given tourism, ecology and environment portfolio", they added. As he expressed his displeasure, he also shut down his MLA office here.
“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," Singh said. He was talking to reporters after offering special prayers at the temple, which was built by his grandfather Shankar Singh 60 years ago. “However, if God says that your political life ends here then I will seek the blessings of Krishna and will start a new innings in my life," Singh said.
“I never behaved in a way to embarrass the party and our leaders. If I have behaved like that then pardon me. I am saying this because I am not a big politician of the state," the Minister said.
“I realised only yesterday that I lived under the wrong impression that there are many politicians in the state to protect me. I had full confidence that there were political bigwigs and friends ready to protect me but it proved to be my overconfidence. It was under some illusion. I have faith in my leaders but I am skeptical whether they have faith in me," he said. Singh refused to give reply to any specific questions regarding his future course of action.
“I don’t want to react to anything. I have told the Chief Minister politically whatever I had to, when I met him on August 8. I stand by it even now and in the future also. My stand is my stand. I won’t make it public. Whether they have given assurance to me or not, it is left to them," he said in response to a query.
Expressing his gratitude and respect towards the former chief minister B S Yediyurappa, who resigned on July 26, which also marked the completion of his two years in the office, Singh said the former gave all that he had asked for such as a separate district to Hospet Taluk, carving out Vijayanagara from Ballari district, irrigation projects and the portfolio of his choice.
Earlier, speaking to reporters in Bengaluru, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said he was aware of Singh’s sentiments.
“Me and Anand Singh are friends for three decades. We are continuously in touch. Yesterday I spoke to him. Today also I will speak to him. I am aware of his views and I too have conveyed my views. Everything will be set right after he comes and speaks to me," Bommai told reporters.
Dismissing some reports that Singh has tendered his resignation, Bommai was confident that he would “convince him". He also said that the minister spoke his mind in an “emotional moment", and asked him to do so in a “calm state of mind".
The CM said he will have to speak to his “higher-ups" to resolve the demands put forth by the sulking minister. The minister was among the 17 Congress and JD (S) MLAs, who were disqualified. Later, 16 of them joined the BJP and became legislators again after winning byelections. A majority of them became Ministers.