AIADMK files plaint against DMK's Senthil Balaji over 'river sand' comment

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Chennai,Mar 18 (PTI) The ruling AIADMK on Thursday lodged a complaint with the Chief Electoral Officer against main opposition DMK's Senthil Balaji for allegedly threatening government officials during his campaign days ago.

Balaji, DMK's Karur constituency candidate, while addressing a gathering on March 17 made the intimidating comment, the ruling party alleged in its complaint filed with Tamil Nadu CEO Satyabrata Sahoo.

He told people no official would prevent them from loading sand onto their bullock carts from river banks after party chief M K Stalin assumed office as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, the AIADMK alleged.

Balaji said in case of them being prevented, they may call him over phone and the officer would not continue in his position, the AIADMK said in its complaint.

Producing Tamil extracts of Balaji's address which was also aired by television channels, the ruling party sought registration of a criminal case against him.

As per an order of the Madras High Court, barring permitted areas, no one had a right to transport and sell river sand without permission from authorities, the AIADMK said.

Hence, Balaji's speech was a 'contempt' of court, violated poll rules, misled the general public, disrespected government servants and 'threatening' government officials, the AIADMK alleged and urged registration of a case against him.

R M Babu Murugavel, AIADMK advocate's wing joint secretary, said Sahoo has assured to look into the complaint and take appropriate action.

V Senthil Balaji, elected from Aravakkurichi in 2016 on an AIADMK ticket, was disqualified in 2017 for aligning with T T V Dhinakaran.

The next year, he joined the DMK and won from the same segment in the bypoll held in 2019.He was the transport minister between 2011 and 2015 in late J Jayalalithaa's Cabinet. PTI VGN BN BN