Tamil Nadu minister P Balakrishna Reddy on Monday resigned from the K Palaniswami-cabinet on Monday, hours after he was sentenced to three years rigorous imprisonment by a special court in Chennai in a two-decades old riot case. The case related to a protest against illicit liquor at Hosur in 1998.
Reddy’s resignation was accepted by Governor Banwarilal Purohit, to whom it was forwarded by Chief Minister K Palaniswami.
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His portfolio of Youth Welfare and Sports Development has been handed over to School Education minister KA Sengottaiyan.
In a statement released Monday night, the Raj Bhavan said, "Governor of Tamil Nadu has accepted the resignation of P Balakrishna Reddy, from the Council of Ministers.”
"Based on the recommendation of the chief minister, the Portfolio of Youth Welfare and Sports Development has been allocated to KA Sengottaiyan, Minister for School Education who shall be re-designated as Minister for School Education, Youth Welfare and Sports Development," the release said.
Reddy was sentenced to three years rigorous imprisonment by a special court on Monday, in a two-decades old riot case related to a protest against illicit liquor in Hosur.
The judge, however, accepted a plea of the minister's counsel and stayed the sentence enabling him to file an appeal in the Madras High Court.
Describing his conviction as a ‘shame’ for the ruling AIADMK led by Chief Minister K Palaniswami, Opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) president MK Stalin demanded Reddy's dismissal from the ministry.
Besides Reddy, the court also sentenced 14 other accused in the case to three years rigorous imprisonment.
Speaking to reporters later, the minister said he would file an appeal in the high court on Tuesday.
"In 1998, over 30 people died after consuming spurious liquor. Following that a road blockade was held and the case was filed in connection with that," he said.
According to the prosecution, during the demonstration held by the locals in Hosur in Krishnagiri district, about 300 km from here, the protesters allegedly went on the rampage and clashed with police, damaging several vehicles.
Three policemen were grievously injured, five buses were destroyed in stone pelting and a police vehicle and a bike were burnt in the violence.
In its first conviction, the special court had on December 28 held former DMK MLA guilty in a rape case and sentenced him to ten years rigorous imprisonment.