'CM Stalin afraid Senthil Balaji might reveal…': Tamil Nadu minister's arrest sparks war of words | Mint
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Business News/ News / India/  'CM Stalin afraid Senthil Balaji might reveal…': Tamil Nadu minister's arrest sparks war of words
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'CM Stalin afraid Senthil Balaji might reveal…': Tamil Nadu minister's arrest sparks war of words

Balaji was arrested by the ED in a cash-for-jobs scam allegedly involving him when he was Transport minister in the then CM J Jayalalithaa-led cabinet.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin speaks regarding Tamil Nadu Electricity Minister V Senthil Balaji's arrest ED in connection with a money laundering case. (PTI)Premium
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin speaks regarding Tamil Nadu Electricity Minister V Senthil Balaji's arrest ED in connection with a money laundering case. (PTI)

The arrest of Tamil Nadu minister Senthil Balaji has sparked a war of words between the ruling DMK and opposition AIADMK. The lawmaker was questioned by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with a money laundering case on Wednesday and subsequently arrested. The Tamil Nadu governor has since re-allocated the portfolios held by Balaji. 

“Why is the CM so nervous? Balaji didn't cooperate with the ED officials, as he had assured....instead of thinking about the people who voted the DMK to power, the Chief Minister is concerned about Senthil Balaji…Is he afraid, as there's something to hide?" AIADMK leader K Palaniswami asked in a lengthy Twitter message. 

He contended that the Chief Minister had visited Senthil Balaji in the hospital out of fear that he would reveal some information to the ED. Meanwhile BJP leader K Annamalai also reiterated the ‘fear’ allegation, claiming that the CM had received a Rs. 200 crore kickback for a Metro contract.

“Not only the CM but his ministers are also panicking due to this. If Balaji reveals the truth then Stalin's political career will be affected... you can't do anything to AIADMK workers," Palaniswami added.

ALSO READ: 'Arrested Senthil Balaji cannot continue as minister', rules TN Governor RN Ravi

The DMK meanwhile lashed out at Palaniswami, calling his comments “filtered lies". Party organising secretary R S Bharathi said that the CM had been concerned because the ED officials had grilled him for 10 hours without even giving him water. 

“Balaji was arrested at midnight and tortured and was not even given water to drink. As a result, he suffered a heart attack," he said.

(With inputs from agencies)

 

 

 

Palaniswami, who is the leader of the opposition in the Assembly, asked. Unlike the DMK members, the AIADMK had no fear, as they had nothing to conceal (madiyil ganam illai, vazhiyil bhayam illai), he said and taunted the DMK to face the ED case in the court and come out clean. Also, he claimed that DMK organising secretary R S Bharathi withdrew the 4,000 crore graft case, which the latter initiated against him. Dismissing Palaniswami's comments as "filtered lies" Bharathi said the Chief Minister was concerned about the health of Balaji and not otherwise because the ED officials grilled him for over 10 hours and did even give him water to drink. "Balaji was arrested at midnight and tortured and was not even given water to drink. As a result, he suffered a heart attack," Bharathi said. The DMK organising secretary sought to know the fate of Balaji had there been a delay in admitting him to the hospital. Also, the graft case that he initiated against Palaniswami was still in the court as he did not withdraw it as the AIADMK leader claimed, Bharathi told reporters here. He took strong exception to the AIADMK general secretary for "belittling" the Chief Minister on the issue. "Did not Palaniswami rush to Delhi and compromise with the BJP leaders when the vigillance officials raided the premises of former AIADMK Ministers: P Thangamani and S P Velumani?" Bharathi asked. He was the first to file a case against late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in the TANSI case, Bharathi said and asked Palaniswami to be aware of history before commenting about others.

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Published: 16 Jun 2023, 07:00 PM IST
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