Ready to give up forest portfolio if CM wants me to: Anand Singh

Of the 15 cases against me, 12 have been stayed and three are under trial, says the Minister


Newly-appointed Environment and Forest Minister Anand Singh, who is in the middle of a controversy over cases pending against him under the Forest Conservation Act, said that he was ready to give up the portfolio if Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa wanted him to.

Speaking to presspersons here on Friday, Mr. Singh said: “All that I have declared in my election affidavit is true. Yes, there are 15 cases against me. I don’t want to keep people of the State in the dark. That is not the kind of politics I want to do.” Mr. Singh was one of the 17 legislators who defected from the Congress-JD(S) coalition, which helped the BJP form the government last year.

Noting that that there was no chargesheet against him, Mr. Singh said of the 15 cases pending against him, 12 had been stayed by court and three were under trial.

Mr. Singh was inducted into the Cabinet a few days ago and was initially given the Food and Civil Supplies portfolio. In a quick reshuffle, the Chief Minister allocated the Forest and Environment portfolio to him the next day.

In his election affidavit filed during the 2019 byelections, the Vijayanagara MLA declared 15 cases pending against him.

A party hopper, Mr. Singh was a Minister in the BJP government during 2008-13. He joined the Congress ahead of the 2018 Assembly polls. After being denied a Cabinet berth in the coalition government headed by H.D. Kumaraswamy, he quit the Congress in 2019 and joined the BJP. He then won the bypolls and was made Minister.