2 K’taka ministers set to resign, Bommai in damage control mode

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai is in the damage control mode as two cabinet ministers, Anand Singh and M.T.B. Nagaraj, have decided to tender their resignations from their posts, sources in the party said.

Anand Singh and Nagaraj have been allotted ministries of Tourism and Municipal Administration respectively, against their wishes. Party insiders said, Anand Singh has already given his resignation letter to Chief Minister Bommai and M.T.B. Nagaraj has made it very clear that he wouldn’t continue unless he is allotted a cabinet portfolio of his choice.

Reacting to the development, Chief Minister Bommai stated on Wednesday that Anand Singh has been his friend for three decades and there are no issues with Nagaraj, as he has spoken to him.

“I spoke to Anand Singh on Tuesday. Have called him for a meeting today (Wednesday) or Friday. He can come in his leisure time and discuss issues. after discussions, the decisions will be taken and they will be made public,” Bommai maintained.

Bommai said that he has not briefed the BJP high command on the issue.

However, sources said, Anand Singh is demanding Public Works Department (PWD) and Nagaraj is asking for Housing ministry.

Bommai had allocated the PWD portfolio to his friend C.C. Patil. After getting to know about Anand Singh’s demand, Patil rushed to New Delhi and met Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi and requested him not to change his portfolio.

Anand Singh, on the other hand, vacated his office at Vijayanagar and said if his demand is not met, he will submit his resignation and would continue just as an MLA.

Party sources say that Anand Singh has switched off his phone and is avoiding calls from Bommai.

Many cabinet ministers are taking up New Delhi trips on the pretext of wishing top leaders after taking charge. Their agenda is likely to retain the cabinet berths they have been allotted, say party sources.

Former minister C.P. Yogeshwar is already camping in Delhi. He will be joined by former minister Ramesh Jarkiholi. Former chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa’s blue-eyed boy M.P. Renukacharya, who missed cabinet berth, is also in New Delhi, sources said.

Meanwhile, Bommai has called up the state in-charge Arun Singh to brief about the threat of resignations from Anand Singh and M.T.B. Nagaraj, on Tuesday night.