Minister for Fisheries,Sports and Youth Services Abhaychandra Jain,who is reported to have expressed reluctance before members of the Jain community in his home constituency to handle the fisheries department on account of his religious beliefs on Sunday,on Monday refuted suggestions that he had officially sought a change of portfolio with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.
I am not a sanyasi to give up the fisheries portfolio. Allotment of portfolios to the ministers is the CMs prerogative and I have to abide by his decision, Jain,who represents the Moodabidri constituency in coastal Karnataka which is home to a sizable number of Jain population and monuments,told reporters.
He said that he had not sought a change of his portfolio on account of his religious beliefs nor changed his mind after being convinced by the CM,who is considered an agnostic in some quarters.
Jain,who has represented the Moodabidri constituency on multiple occasions,is widely believed to have been allotted the fisheries portfolio since fishing is a central part of the socio economics of coastal Karnataka. The functioning of the ministry is seen by many coastal Karnataka leaders as having political currency with the electorate.
Doubts about Jains willingness to continue holding the fisheries portfolio emerged after media reports of a Sunday function in Moodabidri suggested that he was considering giving up the portfolio on account of it conflicting with his belief system.