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