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Today Date : Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Guv. likely to take a decision on recommendation  to reallocate Senthil Balaji’s portfolios

Guv. likely to take a decision on recommendation to reallocate Senthil Balaji’s portfolios

The Governor RN Ravi is likely to take a decision on whether to let Senthil Balaji to continue as a minister without portfolio or not on Friday. Upon accepting the recommendations of the government, ministers Thangam Thennarasu and Muthusamy would get additional portfolios.
 

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) raided about ten premises linked to the minister in Karur and Chennai on Tuesday. The raids were carried out at the premises including his residence, his brother's house and at buildings belonging to his friends, relatives and associates.The search operations come after the Supreme Court overruled the Madras High Court’s 2022 order dismissing the summons sent by the ED in connection with a Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) case to the minister and others. The case has been registered against the minister and others based on a complaint alleging that he had obtained bribes to offer jobs in the transport department during his stint as transport minister between 2011 – 2015.
 

Following the raids, the minister was taken for inquiry. However, he was admitted to the government hospital at Omandurar in the city around 2 am after he complained of chest pain. There, he underwent coronary angiogram and doctors advised him to undergo a by-pass surgery because of a blockage in three blood vessels. After the High Court gave its nod, the minister was transferred to Cauvery hospital in the city on Thursday night.

The ED had intimated the details of the minister’s arrest to the Tamil Nadu governor RN Ravi and assembly speaker M Appavu. Senthil Balaji who was remanded to judicial custody by the principal sessions court, was granted a number at Puzhal prison.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister MK Stalin on Thursday wrote to the Governor seeking his nod to transfer the portfolios held by Senthil Balaji to ministers Thangam Thennarasu and Muthusamy. He recommended allocating the electricity department to minister Thangam Thennarasu and prohibition and excise departments to Muthusamy. He also said that since Senthil Balaji is sick, he would continue as portfolio-less minister in the cabinet.
 

At a time when the governor was expected to accept the recommendation, the letter was returned since it did not contain complete information regarding the minister’s arrest. It in turn has stopped the reallocation of portfolios to ministers. The Chief Minister, meanwhile, held a meeting with senior ministers and top officials on Thursday night and have decided to resend the letter after loading it with sufficient information.
The rewritten letter said, “Returning the government’s letter is against the constitution and federalism. As a Chief Minister, I have the rights to reallocate the portfolios of ministers and it is as per which, I have written to you. The letter was sent to you last night and even minister Ponmudi had given a brief explanation on it.”
However, the state government has decided to seek legal opinion on this issue. The governor is likely to take a decision on whether to let Senthil Balaji to continue as portfolio-less minister or not. Upon accepting the recommendations of the government, ministers Thangam Thennarasu and Muthusamy would get additional portfolios.