Edappadi Palaniswami has no locus standi to comment on Senthilbalaji: Minister Ma. Subramanian

Speaking to reporters, Health Minister Ma. Subramanian terms Mr. Senthilbalaji’s arrest ‘murder of democracy’. He alleges that it was an attempt to bring a bad name to DMK before the LS election

Updated - June 15, 2023 04:05 pm IST

Published - June 15, 2023 12:44 am IST - CHENNAI

Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma. Subramanian leaves  Tamil Nadu Government Multi Super Speciality Hospital at Omandurar estate in Chennai after visiting his Cabinet collegue V. Senthilbalaji who was hospitalised shortly after his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate on June 14, 2023

Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma. Subramanian leaves Tamil Nadu Government Multi Super Speciality Hospital at Omandurar estate in Chennai after visiting his Cabinet collegue V. Senthilbalaji who was hospitalised shortly after his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate on June 14, 2023 | Photo Credit: B. Jothi Ramalingam

AIADMK general secretary Edappadi K. Palaniswami has no locus standi to comment on Electricity Minister V. Senthilbalaji’s arrest and demand his resignation, Health Minister Ma. Subramanian said on Wednesday, June 14, 2023.

Speaking to reporters at the DMK headquarters, Anna Arivalayam, he termed Mr. Senthilbalaji’s arrest by the Enforcement Directorate “murder of democracy”.

Even after Mr. Senthilbalaji’s assurance that he would cooperate in the investigation, the ED tortured him for 18 hours without even providing him basic assistance, he alleged. “It is an attempt to bring a bad name to the DMK before the Lok Sabha election and build a false narrative that the DMK is a corrupt party,” Mr. Subramanian said.

“Also, it is an old case, which happened in 2015 during the AIADMK government. Though the complaints have been withdrawn, the BJP [government] has taken action now as part of its intimidatory tactics,” he said.

Mr. Senthilbalaji had destroyed the BJP’s hopes of a good performance in the Kongu belt and ensured a thumping victory for the DMK in the local bodies elections. The BJP feared that if Mr. Senthilbalaji was active in the 2024 Lok Sabha election, its chances would be affected, he said.

Mr. Subramanian said Mr. Palaniswami was making contradictory remarks on the details of the ED’s case against Mr. Senthilbalaji and trying to bring a bad name to the DMK government. There were corruption charges against Mr. Palaniswami and former AIADMK Ministers. When searches were conducted during the AIADMK regime, Mr. Palaniswami did not resign on moral grounds.

Mr. Subramanian also rejected the claims that a drama was being played around Mr. Senthilbalaji’s health. He said the second opinion was sought from a doctor at Apollo Hospitals on the bypass surgery advised for Mr. Senthilbalaji by the Tamil Nadu Government Multi Super Speciality Hospital at Omandurar Estate, Chennai; the Apollo doctor endorsed the advice. Doctors of ESIC Medical College and Hospital at K.K. Nagar also confirmed the need for a bypass surgery, he said.

Mr. Senthilbalaji’s wife suggested Kauvery Hospital for the surgery. After court proceedings, steps would be taken to shift him to the hospital, the Health Minister said.

DMK MP P. Wilson said that when the Supreme Court had given two months, there was no need for the ED to act in such a hurry and the action was politically motivated.

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