According to sources, the Enforcement Directorate has detained V. Senthilbalaji, the Minister of Tamil Nadu’s electricity, in connection with a money-laundering investigation.
The Minister was detained after an 18-hour interrogation at his house in Chennai. The Enforcement Directorate had searched Senthilbalaji’s official office at the State Secretariat, his mansion in Chennai, and other locations connected to him in Karur and Coimbatore.
Tamil Nadu Minister Senthilbalaji was taken at 2 A.M for a medical checkup at Chennai’s Government Multi Super Specialty Hospital.
#WATCH | Tamil Nadu Electricity Minister V Senthil Balaji breaks down as ED officials took him into custody in connection with a money laundering case and brought him to Omandurar Government in Chennai for medical examination pic.twitter.com/aATSM9DQpu
— ANI (@ANI) June 13, 2023
Ministers Udhayanidhi Stalin, M. Subramanian, and E.V. Velu visit hospitalized Minister Senthilbalaji; Minister Sekar Babu claims unconsciousness, ICU observation; Lack of arrest information concerns DMK’s MP N.R. Elango.
Enhanced security presence at Omandurar Government Estate with additional deployed forces
Mr Udhayanidhi declared that the party wouldn’t “bow down to BJP‘s threat and pressure” but would instead investigate legal options.
In connection with an alleged money-laundering case, the ED searched Mr. Senthilbalaji’s State Secretariat office, bungalow in Chennai, and other locations connected to him in Karur and Coimbatore on June 13. The central agency has never before targeted a Minister by entering Fort St. George, the centre of authority.
Presidents of the DMK and the Congress, Mallikarjun Kharge and M.K. Stalin, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, called it a “intimidation tactic” by the Narendra Modi govt.
It is understood that the searches were being done in connection with money laundering related to a job racket that is said to have occurred while Mr. Senthilbalaji served as the Transport Minister in Jayalalithaa’s Cabinet from 2011 to 2015, despite the Central agency has not yet issued a statement at the time this report was filed.
The Metropolitan Transport Corporation is accused of asking for bribes to fill positions. The Supreme Court paved the way for an investigation last month when it ruled that “the investigation officer is to proceed with further investigation in all cases.”