BENGALURU: The simmering dissent within BJP over the recent allotment of portfolios came to the fore on Wednesday when Minister for Tourism, Ecology and Environment Anand Singh, who has not kept his dissatisfaction over his ministry a secret, threatened to resign, not just as minister but also as MLA.
He later seemed to retract from his position after much convincing by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and former chief minister BS Yediyurappa. Accompanied by Shorapur MLA Narasimha Nayak, Singh’s first port of call was to Yediyurappa.
He later held talks with Bommai in a last-ditch attempt to get his prized Forest portfolio. Sources privy to the meeting between Singh and Yediyurappa said that the former was advised to drop his resignation plans and t0 work with Bommai.
“What will you do resigning as MLA now? There will be bypolls unnecessarily during the pandemic. Elections are less than two years away. You have at least been given a cabinet berth and two key portfolios,” Yediyurappa is said to have told Singh.
Not receiving the kind of support he hoped for, Singh then proceeded to meet Bommai, who is also said to have dissuaded him from resigning. “Singh and I have been friends for over 30 years now. We are in touch and all his concerns will be addressed. I will speak to him again,” Bommai told reporters on Wednesday morning. Singh said, “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. I would not have displayed my displeasure if Yediyurappa had continued to be the chief minister.”
‘Disappointed’ Anand Singh to meet Speaker Kageri?
“I would have requested him to consider my appeal and wouldn’t have resorted to what I am doing now. Yediyurappa gave me everything. I asked for a separate district, he granted it. I asked for irrigation projects, he sanctioned them,” Anand Singh said.Despite his talks with the two top leaders, Singh still kept the suspense up. Sources said that he has sought an appointment with Assembly Speaker Vishweshwara Hegde Kageri on Friday fanning speculation that he could still resign as MLA.
Singh is said to be keen on the Forest portfolio, which he held till January this year when Yediyurappa reshuffled the cabinet. Singh was later given tourism, infrastructure development, Haj and Wakf portfolios. Bommai has assigned him Tourism, Ecology and Environment.