Tourism minister Anand Singh creates political ripples in Karnataka again

Bengaluru, Aug 11: The taking down of the name board of Tourism Minister Anand Singh at his legislator’s residence-cum-office at Vijayanagara city has created political ripples in the state.

A video depicting the same has also gone viral on Twitter. Yet another video has also gone viral which depicts the deserted look of his office. The office staff has informed the people of the minister’s unavailability to receive their pleas and grievances.

Asked about the taking down of the name board, Singh said: “I do not want to comment on this. I have told the Chief Minister what I have to say.”

In all these past days, he has not even once visited the Vidhana Sabha and he is yet to occupy his chamber. Sources say Singh is demanding energy or public works portfolios. Energy ministry has been allocated to Sunil Kumar.

Amidst these developments, Singh is expected to visit Bengaluru later today.

Earlier in Ballari, Singh had hinted that he would resign if his demand was not met. “I am a stubborn man. I will not bog down for any reason. I will even resign from my assembly membership if my demand is not met,” he had threatened.

These threats from Singh are not new. He had issued such threats during the JDS-Congress coalition government while demanding district status to Vijayanagara.

When the JDS-Congress coalition government refused to heed to his demand, Singh resigned as Congress legislator and paved the way for other rebel JDS and Congress MLAs to resign.

After their resignations, the rebel JDS and Congress legislators joined the BJP and toppled the coalition government led by HD Kumaraswamy and paved the way for BS Yediyurappa to win trust vote in the state assembly and form the government.

After assuming charge as a minister in the BJP government, Singh had allegedly pressured Yediyurappa threatening to resign as a minister and quit the party if the Vijayanagara district was not carved out of Ballari.

Apparently sensing the danger it could cause to the government, Yediyurappa’s government approved the new district on November 18, 2020, and finally announced Vijayanagara as the 31st district in its gazette notification.

Back story

A day after Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai allocated portfolios to his cabinet colleagues, Singh had expressed his discontentment over the portfolio allocated to him.

Last August 7, Singh had threatened to take extreme decisions if his portfolio was not changed and had asked Bommai to reconsider his demand. He also said that it was because of his resignation as the legislator, the BJP came to power in the state.

“I will request the Chief Minister to consider my demand. Tell me, am I not capable of handling the portfolio I had asked for? Am I not competent? Didn’t I do anything to the party? Wasn’t there my contribution in bringing the BJP to power? Let them say, if I am not capable. I will obey whatever their decision is,” he had said.

Singh’s resignation had started a flurry of resignations by JDS and Congress legislators to topple the previous coalition government and brought BJP to power. Therefore, he must get a better portfolio, he said.

Reacting to the development, Bommai said all ministers cannot be assigned the portfolios they wished for.

Apart from Singh, N Nagaraj, popularly known as MTB, also has expressed his dissatisfaction with the portfolios distributed to them.

Nagaraj was expecting the housing portfolio as he had held the same in the HD Kumaraswamy-led coalition government before defecting to BJP.

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