After dismissing DMK minister Balaji, TN governor hits pause, decides to consult AG

In a late-evening communication to the chief minister, the governor said he would consult the attorney general and seek his legal opinion

Tamil Nadu Electricity Minister Senthil Balaji (Photo: IANS)
Tamil Nadu Electricity Minister Senthil Balaji (Photo: IANS)


After a sudden, unexpected dismissal of DMK state minister V. Senthil Balaji late in the evening of 29 June, Tamil Nadu governor R.N. Ravi surprised us again late last night, deciding to keep the order "in abeyance" while he obtains a "legal opinion" from the Indian attorney general (AG).

Ravi informed chief minister M.K. Stalin in a late-evening communication, sources said on Thursday, that the order to dismiss Balaji from the state's council of ministers has been kept in abeyance until further communication.

Balaji's dismissal came days after his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in an alleged cash-for-jobs scam.

Veteran political journalist Rajdeep Sardesai took to Twitter to wonder at this new gubernatorial policy of act first, think later.

Stalin had said the state government would challenge the governor's decision legally.

In an official release, the Raj Bhavan in Chennai had said, "There are reasonable apprehensions that the continuation of V Senthil Balaji in the Council of Ministers will adversely impact the due process of law, including fair investigation that may eventually lead to the breakdown of constitutional machinery in the state."

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," the release added.

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