Ready to change portfolio if CM wants, says Karnataka forest minister
Netizens have also opposed Anand Singh being made the forest minister of Karnataka, pointing out a conflict of interest and have started an online petition against him.
Bengaluru: Amid growing criticism over his appointment as forest minister as there are several cases pending against him, including under the Karnataka Forest Act, Anand Singh on Friday said he is ready, if chief minister BS Yediyurappa wants to change his portfolio.
Accepting that there are 15 cases pending against him, the MLA from Vijayanagara in mine rich Ballari district also said anyone can go through the charge sheets and find out whether there are any direct charges against him.
Claiming that the cases against him were "minor violations", he had earlier linked them to traffic violations by a vehicle owner.
"If chief minister Yediyurappa feels that because of my continuing as Forest minister, Karnataka's forests will get looted, will get destroyed, and wants to change my portfolio, I’m ready to change my portfolio," he said.
According to Singh, of the 15 cases pending against him, 12 have been stayed by court while three are under trial.
"What opposition leaders are saying and what I have submitted to the Election Commission is true that there are 15 cases against me,” he added.
“I will never do politics by keeping people of Karnataka in the dark, but media friends and opposition leaders have to thoroughly examine the charges against me," Singh said.
Speaking to reporters, he said, "Many of them (opposition leaders) are advocates, they have to go through the charge sheets against me, if there are direct charges against me, media can question me."
Singh's statement has come at a time when there is speculation within BJP circles about Yediyurappa contemplating on changing his portfolio, after drawing flak from various quarters.
Several twitter users have also opposed Singh being made the forest minister, pointing out a conflict of interest.
An online petition has also been started, demanding that the chief minister drop him immediately.
Singh, one among the newly elected BJP legislators after defecting from Congress and facing disqualification, was inducted into the ministry by Yediyurappa on February 6 and initially given the food, civil supplies and consumers affairs portfolio on February 10.