Chennai, May 2 : In a surprise development, Tamil Nadu Sports and Youth Welfare Minister R T Inbathamizhan today quit the ruling AIADMK and joined the DMK.
Son of firebrand leader R Thamaraikani, Mr Inbathamizhan, who was denied ticket to contest the May eight Assembly elections by the AIADMK, called on DMK President M Karunanidhi at 'Anna Arivalayam' here and joined the party.
Former AIADMK Minister K Lawrence also quit the AIADMK and joined the DMK by presenting a shawl to the DMK President here today.
Hailing from Kanniyakumari district, Mr Lawrence had served as Minister in the Jayalalithaa regime during 1991-96. He is among the few Ministers to emerge unscathed by any corruption charge.
Only ten days ago, Ms Indira Kumari, another former AIADMK Minister during the 1991-96 Jayalaithaa regime, joined the DMK.
In a signed statement here, Mr Inbathamizhan, who got elected from Srivilliputhur in Virudhunagar district in the 1996 elections, said he was like a ''slave in the AIADMK'' and savoured a sense of liberation when he joined the DMK.
Mr Inbathamizhan alleged he was forced by the AIADMK high command to play politics against his very family.
His father R Thamaraikani, was elected from Srivillputhur Assembly constituency several times.
When his father was elected as Chairman of Srivilliputhur Municipality, he was forced by the AIADMK to prevent him from discharging his duties, Mr Inbathamizhan alleged.
''Ms Jayalalithaa isolated me from my father, mother and brothers,'' he alleged.
The Minister, who took on his father in the 2001 Assembly elections, became his arch rival and even removed his initial.
When he went to his home town for the funeral, it was too late and he could not perform the last rites.