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States » South


"Ready for change in Portfolio," says K'taka Forest Min

Bengaluru, Feb 14 (UNI) The new Karnataka Minister for Forest Anand Singh on Friday said that he is ready for 'change in the portfolio' as opposition parties are leveling charges against Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa for appointing him, despite having 15 cases registered under Forest Act against him.
"If Chief Minister want to change my portfolio, I am ready," he added.
Speaking to newsmen here, he said that there are 15 cases pending against him. The Legislator from Vijayanagara in Mine rich Ballari district said anyone can go through the Chargesheets 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, State's Forests will get looted, will get destroyed, and wants to change my portfolio, I am ready,” he added.
Mr Singh clarified saying that 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. I will never do politics by keeping people of the State in the dark, but media friends and opposition leaders have to throughly examine the charges against me. 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 comes at a time when there is speculation within BJP circles about the Chief Minister contemplating on change his portfolio, after drawing flak from various quarters.
The Congress has hit out at Chief Minister for appointing Singh, a businessman with mining interests, as Forest Minister and threatened to raise the issue during the Budget Session beginning from March 5.
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