Governor RN Ravi had yesterday (29 June) dismissed Senthil Balaji from the council of ministers with immediate effect. Balaji had been continuing in the cabinet as a minister without portfolio after his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
A press release issued by the Raj Bhavan had stated, "Minister Thiru V.Senthil Balaji is facing serious criminal proceedings in a number of cases of corruption including taking cash for jobs and money laundering.
"Abusing his position as a Minister, he has been influencing the investigation and obstructing the due process of law and justice. Currently he is in judicial custody in a criminal case being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate. Some more criminal cases against him under Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penal Code are being investigated by the State Police.
"There are reasonable apprehensions that continuation of Thiru V.Senthil Balaji in the Council of Ministers will adversely impact the due process of law including fair investigation that may eventually lead to breakdown of the Constitutional machinery in the State.
"Under these circumstances, Hon'ble Governor has dismissed Thiru V.Senthil Balaji from the Council of Ministers with immediate effect."
Earlier, while reallocating portfolios of Balaji to Thangam Thennarasu and S Muthusamy, Governor Ravi had said that he has not agreed with Balaji's continuation in the council of ministers in view of the various charges against him.
The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) have been demanding the dismissal of Balaji and had met Governor Ravi in this regard.
Reacting to the order, Chief Minister MK Stalin had said that the Governor did not have the power to dismiss a minister and the issue would be taken to court.
S Rajesh is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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