Chennai: Controversial State Minister V Senthil Balaji has sent in resignation to Chief Minister M K Stalin, who has reportedly forwarded it to the Governor for approval.
Balaji, who held the portfolios of Prohibition and Electricity in the DMK government, had been functioning without portfolio even while languishing in jail for the past eight months in connection with a money laundering case.
He was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate officials after a series of raids at his house and other premises related to him in June in connection with a cash of jobs scam that allegedly took place in the earlier AIADMK regime in which he was the transport minister.
Though Governor R N Ravi had dismissed Balaji after his arrest, saying that his continuation as Minister was untenable, he remained a Minister without portfolio after the Governor had to rescind his dismissal as it was pointed out to him that he was not empowered to dismiss Ministers.
However, very recently Justice N Anand Venkatesh of the Madras High Court has raised a question on the rationale behind Balaji continuing as Minister. So two days, ahead of the hearing of his bail plea, he sent his resignation to the Chief Minister.
It is learnt that Balaji himself had felt that he would be able to help the DMK in any way during the next Lok Sabha elections if he did not come out of jail by then. The DMK was also banking on Balaji’s campaign in western Tamil Nadu earlier.