Hours after Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi announced the dismissal of Minister V Senthil Balaji from

Fill in sothe Council of Ministers on Thursday, 29 June, the Raj Bhavan issued a second notice me text

placing the contentious order on hold

The standoff between the governor and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) government in Tamil Nadu

hit a fever pitch on Thursday when the former – without consulting the chief minister – removed Balaji from the Council of Ministers.

Even as the dismissal is on hold, the question remains – does the governor have the power to dismiss a minister?

Senthil Balaji was arrested two weeks ago over a cash-for-jobs scam that came to light in 2015

when he was the transport minister in the Jayalalithaa Cabinet.

After his arrest, the DMK minister fell unconscious and reportedly underwent a coronary angiogram.

Though he is currently in judicial custody and being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), CM Stalin had retained him as a minister without portfolio – handing his electricity portfolio to Finance Minister Thangam Thennarasu.