press trust of india
CHENNAI, 28 JUNE: Two former ministers of the DMK and the PMK today joined the ruling AIADMK, boosting its Dalit portfolio.
The DMK’s Mr Parithi Ilamvazhuthi and Mr E Ponnusamy, who had quit the PMK a few months ago, protesting party founder Dr S Ramadoss’s strident stand against SC/ST communities on certain issues, joined the AIADMK in the presence of party supremo and Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.
Incidentally, Mr Ilamvazhuthi, a former minister and popular face in the DMK, prior to his quitting the Karunanidhi-led party after its May 2011 poll debacle, had faced a vigilance probe after the AIADMK assumed power.
He had lost the elections to the DMDK candidate from Egmore constituency.
Mr Ponnusamy is a former minister of state and had been elected from Mr Chidambaram’s Lok Sabha constituency twice.
A senior leader of the PMK, prior to his quitting the party, Mr Ponnusamy was seen as the “Dalit Face” of the party, which claims to largely represent interests of the Vanniyar community.
Recently, Mr Ramadoss had taken a strong stand against Dalits and had been even campaigning against inter-caste marriages involving the two communities. Mr Ponnusamy had walked out of the party protesting this.