Anand Singh, the Karnataka Tourism Minister met DK Shivakumar at the latter's residence in Bengaluru.

DK Shivakumar and Anand Singh collageLeft: DK Shivakumar/PTI Right: Anand Singh/Twitter
news Politics Monday, January 31, 2022 - 18:25

A meeting between Anand Singh, a minister in the BJP government in Karnataka, and state Congress chief DK Shivakumar at the latter's residence in Bengaluru on Monday, January 31 has sparked speculations, amid recent claims by the opposition party leaders that some ruling party leaders, including ministers, were in touch with them.

The Minister for Tourism, Ecology and Environment in the Basavaraj Bommai-led cabinet, driving to the KPCC chief's residence in a private car has raised eyebrows in political circles, especially in the BJP. However, speaking to reporters, Shivakumar said they had met regarding a tourism project in his Assembly constituency.

"I had seen Tunga aarti. Aimed at developing tourism in our constituency, I had requested for a programme to be worked out so that similar aarti can be organised at the sangam (confluence) of Cauvery and Arkavathi rivers near Mekedatu in my constituency. He (Singh) has said that he will send a team," Shivakumar said.

Speaking to reporters, while rejecting all political speculation in connection with the meeting, he said, "He (Singh) is a minister. If he has come openly to my house, how can he come with a political motive? No one will do that. Politics is done either at hotels or guest houses, not at home."

"All of us have that much common sense. I am a senior leader. He personally came to explain about the proposed programme. There's nothing else," he added.

The recent claims by Congress leaders, including Shivakumar and legislature party leader Siddaramaiah, that some legislators and leaders from the ruling BJP are in touch with them and may jump ship ahead of 2023 Assembly polls, has given rise to speculations about Singh's move.

Meanwhile, not wanting to respond about the meeting between Singh and Shivakumar, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said, "you have to ask them (about it)." According to party sources, Singh is unhappy with the Chief Minister's decision to appoint him as district in-charge minister for Koppal, instead of newly-carved Vijayanagara district, which is his native.

Singh had in 2021 openly expressed his disgruntlement, as Bommai allocated him the Environment, Ecology and Tourism portfolios, and had not taken charge as the minister for long, in want of a "better" portfolio. He had finally relented after persuasion by the Chief Minister and BJP state leadership. A four-time MLA, Singh was among the 17 legislators who had quit the Congress-JD(S) coalition and had joined the BJP in 2019.

Read: Cong’s Hasta vs BJP’s Kamala: Defection politics resurfaces in Karnataka

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