Former AIADMK minister Rajenthra Balaji was arrested by the Virudhunagar District Crime Branch (DCB) on Wednesday, January 5, in connection with a cheating case. He was on the run after being accused in two cases. Officials of the DCB picked him up from Hassan district in Karnataka, after police tracked his phone. He was declared as absconding, and a look-out notice was issued by the police in the last week of December. Balaji was the Milk and Dairy Development Minister from August 2016 to May 2021.
Balaji was reportedly apprehended by the Virudhunagar police who were searching for him. Police said that a transit warrant will be sought and he would be brought to Virudhunagar in Tamil Nadu.
The Virudhunagar District Crime Branch Police had earlier registered two cheating cases against the former minister, his assistants, and a former functionary of the AIADMK. The cases were registered on the basis of a complaint filed by a former functionary of the AIADMK, K Nallathambi, that he had collected Rs 1.6 crore from several people and handed over the money to people close to Bhalaji to get government jobs.
One person, S Raveendran from Sattur in Tamil Nadu said that he had handed over an amount of Rs 30 lakh to K Nallathambi, union secretary of the AIADMK between November 20 and February 2021. He complained that he was promised a job as a manager in Aavin by another AIADMK functionary, Mariappan, who introduced him to Nallathambi. Raveendran said that he handed over the amount of Rs 30 lakh raised by taking various loans to Nallathambi after meeting Rajenthra Balaji at his residence.
Ravindran also alleged that the Virudhunagar East District Secretary of the AIADMK, Ravichandran was the brother of Nallathambi and that he was also aware of the money being handed over. He said that after the AIADMK lost the Assembly elections and the DMK government assumed office, he was not able to meet any of them.
Meanwhile, Nallathambi has also filed a complaint against former Minister Rajenthra Bhalaji and his accomplices Baburaj, Muthupandian, and Balaraman stating that he had collected Rs 1.60 crore from various people on the instructions from Bhalaji promising them jobs and had handed over the money to Bhalaji and his associates.
Nallathambi also alleged that Bhalaji had not repaid him Rs 1.40 crore which he had spent for various programmes of the AIADMK under the instructions of Bhalaji. In the complaint, the former AIADMK functionary also said that he was receiving death threats from Bhalaji and his associates.
With IANS inputs