Anand Singh assumes office of Tourism & Ecology Minister after 18 days

Minister Anand Singh, who has been showing dissatisfaction and discontent over his “low-profile” portfolios allotted to him in the past days, has assumed charge of the departments of Environment, Ecology and Tourism on Tuesday, following an assurance from Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai that he would look into his demand for a “better portfolio”.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had an hour-long chat with Minister Anand Singh and persuaded him to take up the assigned portfolio and asked him to remain patient. Mr Bommai will leave Wednesday for Delhi on a two-day visit as part of his efforts to quell a brewing dissatisfaction among a section of his Cabinet colleagues with their portfolios.

Mr Singh had been sulking ever since the portfolios of Environment, Ecology and Tourism were allocated to him on August 7. He skipped the Cabinet meeting held last Thursday. In what was seen as “blackmail” politics, Mr Singh had earlier this month, shut his MLA’s office at Hosapete. He had also hinted on August 11 that he might resign.

“I have brought to the notice of the party State president my appeals and discussed with him a few things. He asked me to first take charge of the portfolios I have been allotted and begin work, and said that my appeals would be considered and necessary action be taken,” Mr Singh said.

Before taking charge, he said, “On the assurance that my appeals will be considered and soon a solution will be found to my issues, abiding by the directions of the party and the Chief Minister, I have come to assume office”, said Anand Singh.

Anand Singh being a four-time MLA was among the 17 legislators who quit the Congress-JD(S) coalition and joined the BJP in 2019. Following his demand, the Yediyurappa government carved out the new Vijayanagara district out of Ballari district.

Bommai is expected to meet national president JP Nadda, and the general secretary in charge of Karnataka Arun Singh, among other national leaders. The chief minister, in a chat with the media, however, projected meetings with legal experts on inter-state river water issues, and other union ministers on administrative issues as the main focus of his Delhi trip

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