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Senthil Balaji Briefly Sacked; Opposition Parties Attack Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi's 'Unconstitutional' Move

The dismissal of Senthil Balaji was justified by citing criminal cases against him under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penal Code. However, the governor later reversed his decision after outrage.

Tamil Nadu governor RN Ravi.
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The ongoing standoff between Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi and DMK government escalated with opposition leaders criticising the former's move to sack arrested minister Senthil Balaji from the state cabinet without Chief Minister MK Stalin's approval. The governor has put the order in abeyance for the time being after outrage.

A press release issued from the Raj Bhavan regarding the dismissal of Balaji days after his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in an alleged cash-for-jobs scam, cited criminal cases against him under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penal Code. Hours after the order was issued, Governor RN Ravi backtracked and put the dismissal on hold.

Meanwhile, several opposition parties slammed the governor's move as "unconstitutional". 

Congress MP and advocate Manish Tewari said the President should sack Tamil Nadu Governor for no lawyer could have advised RN Ravi to sack a minister until charges against him are proved. "No sane bureaucrat much less a sane lawyer could have advised Mr Ravi that Constitutional scheme allows him to dismiss a Minister. Criminal jurisprudence holds you are innocent until proven guilty," Manish Tewari said.

RJD MP Manoj Jha said that the governor must have received a diktat from Delhi for such action. "Tamil Nadu governor has done this on diktat from Delhi. He has violated the constitutional scheme of things. BJP is committing acts for which there's no provision in the Constitution," he said.

Trinamool national spokesperson Saket Gokhale said that the move was a violation of the constiution of India. "The fight that all opposition parties are fighting today is the fight to save our Constitution and we are together with the DMK in this fight," the TMC leader said.

On the otherhand, BJP said the Governor has taken a "moral" and "legal" decision by dismissing Senthil Balaji. 

DMK supporters on Friday put up posters outside Anna Arivalayam in Chennai, raising questions to Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi over dismissal order of state minister.

Meanwhile, the DMK may weigh all the options and legal factors related to Governor RN Ravi's later backtracked move to dismiss Minister V Senthil Balaji from the Cabinet, sources said on Friday. 

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