Governor Ravi accepts Senthilbalaji’s resignation

V Senthil Balaji from the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) has been dropped from the Tamil Nadu cabinet as a minister without portfolio after governor RN Ravi accepted his resignation on Tuesday.

Balaji gave his resignation on Monday, eight months after his arrest in a money laundering case.

Chief minister M K Stalin recommended the acceptance of the resignation and sent the file to Raj Bhavan on February 12.

“Based on the letter of the chief minister…Governor has approved the recommendation and accepted the resignation of Thiru V Senthil Balaji, minister from the Tamil Nadu council of ministers,” Raj Bhavan said in a statement on Tuesday.

The move comes ahead of the Madras high court’s hearing of Balaji’s bail plea on February 14. Previously, his bail was rejected by a trial court in the city. It is currently being heard by Justice Anand Venkatesh of the high court. On January 20, the justice observed that it does not augur well that he continues to be a minister despite being incarcerated for 240 days.

An enforcement directorate (ED) team arrested Balaji on June 14 last year under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002, in a 2014 case when he was the transport minister under the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) government.