Despite Mining Violations, Anand Singh Gets K’taka Forest Ministry
Turncoat MLA Anand Singh was named Forest & Ecology minister despite several pending cases against him.
Barely a day after the initial allocation of ministries, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has drawn flak for his decision to appoint turncoat MLA Anand Singh as the minister for forest, environment and ecology.
Singh, who had first been given charge of the Food and Civil Supplies ministry, has over a dozen serious cases pending against him under the Karnataka Forest Act and the Mines and Minerals Act.
According to a TOI report, Anand Singh had on Wednesday claimed that he had not lobbied for this particular portfolio and it was given to him at the discretion of the CM.
“It was the CM who gave me the responsibility, I didn’t ask for it. If anybody has any problem, let them ask the CM why he gave me this portfolio,” he reportedly said. Comparing his offences to traffic violations, Singh said that it was natural for those in the mining business to attract cases under the Forest Act.
Jaiveer Shergil, National Congress party spokesperson said that Singh’s appointment mocked the Supreme Court.
“The appointment of Anand Singh has made a mockery of the SC judgement ensuring decriminalisation of politics. The BJPs appointment of Anand Singh is the commitment to bring back the Ballari gang, it’s a stamp of approval on the Ballari mining scam of Karnataka,” he said.
In a reshuffle, the portfolios of Anand Singh, BC Patil and K Gopalaiah were reportedly changed.
According to Singh’s election affidavit, the MLA has listed 15 pending cases against him. He was reportedly arrested twice in 2013 and 2015 on charges of illegal transportation of iron ore.
The current cases pending against have to do with transport of forest produce and carrying out prohibited activities, among other charges. Anand Singh was part of the band of Congress MLAs who had jumped ship last year, causing the fall of the coalition government. Along with nine others, he was inducted into Yediyurappa’s cabinet last week.
Appointment Draws Flak
Several Twitter users slammed the turn of events, commenting on the irony of the appointment of the 4-time MLA becoming forest minister.
(With inputs from The Times of India and Deccan Herald)
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