Tamil Nadu Governor R. N. Ravi on Tuesday, February 13, 2024, accepted the resignation of jailed Minister without a portfolio, V. Senthilbalaji.
A Raj Bhavan press release said, Chief Minister M. K. Stalin had, on Monday February 12, written to the Governor recommending the acceptance of the resignation of Mr. Senthilbalaji from the Tamil Nadu Council of Ministers. The Governor “has approved the recommendation and accepted the resignation of Mr Senthilbalaji”, the release said.
Mr. Senthilbalaji was arrested in June last year, by the Enforcement Directorate in an alleged money laundering case. He was subsequently jailed at the Central Prison, Puzhal on July 17, 2023. The case has its roots in an alleged cash for job scam in the Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) that took place when Mr. Senthilbalaji was the Transport Minister (2011-15) in the Jayalalithaa Cabinet.
Before his arrest, Mr. Senthilbalaji was holding the portfolios of Electricity, Excise and Prohibition. Mr. Stalin had retained him as Minister without portfolio and had allocated the subjects to two other senior colleagues.
Last month, while hearing his bail petition, the Madras High Court had questioned the propriety behind Mr. Senthilbalaji continuing to be a Minister without portfolio despite having been imprisoned for over 230 days