Tamil Nadu: DMK minister Senthil Balaji resigns

Arrested by ED on June 14, Balaji was continuing as minister without portfolio

Senthil Balaji V. Senthil Balaji

DMK leader V. Senthil Balaji, who is under remand in connection with a money laundering case has resigned from his ministerial post. Balaji was retained as minister without portfolio in the DMK government following his arrest by ED.

Sources in the know of the developments said Balaji has tendered his resignation and the letter has been sent to the chief minister’s office.

Balaji, who was minister for Electricity, Prohibition and Excise in the Tamil Nadu government was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on June 14 in a case linked to a cash-for-jobs scam when he was the Transport Minister during an earlier AIADMK regime. Though the portfolios were assigned to other ministers in the cabinet, he was retained as minister without portfolio by Chief Minister M.K. Stalin.

Balaji’s move comes after the Supreme Court recently dismissed a plea seeking his removal from the minister post. The apex court observed that a governor cannot dismiss a minister without the recommendation of the CM. Earlier, on a similar petition in Madras High Court, the bench observed, “The Chief Minister of the State of Tamil Nadu may be well advised to take a decision about the continuance of V.Senthil Balaji as a minister without portfolio, which serves no purpose and which does not augur well with the Principles of Constitutional ethos on goodness, good governance and purity in administration.”

 Balaji’s continuance as minister was one of the flashpoints between Chief Minister Stalin and Governor R.N. Ravi. The Governor had on June 29 last year unilaterally dismissed Senthil Balaji with immediate effect from the cabinet. However, he had to reverse the action later.


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