EXC: Very shameful, disappointing: Antony’s son slams Congress

Son of veteran Congress leader AK Antony, Anil K Antony resigned from party posts following intolerant calls to retract tweet denouncing ill-intent BBC documentary on PM Modi

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By: Anand Singh | NEW DELHI
Updated: 25 January, 2023 5:20 pm IST
Congress leader Anil Kurien Antony

Hours after resigning from all posts in Congress, following his refusal to retract his tweet denouncing the BBC’s malicious documentary demeaning Prime minister Narendra Modi, Anil Kurien Antony came down heavily on the Grand Old Party.

Son of veteran Congress leader and former Union minister AK Antony, Anil Antony created a flutter earlier in the day when he quit from party posts, alleging “intolerant calls to retract a tweet” denouncing the controversial BBC documentary.

Anil Antony also slammed the coterie around the leadership, which is only keen to work with a bunch of sycophants. Referring to the messages he received following his tweet, Anil Antony said that he felt it was very shameful and disappointing that a party of Congress’ stature, lineage and capability has now come down to this level.

In an exclusive interview with The New Indian, Anil Antony spoke about his decision to quit all posts, “I resigned from all the formal roles I have in the Congress party in the state as well as in the central office.”

“The reasons are very clearly written in my letter because I feel that, in the current environment and circumstances, it is untenable for me to continue working in the organisation because this is not somewhere that will have space for me. I think it is better for me to pursue my own personal life.”

When questioned about his tweet to not fall for the BBC agenda on the documentary on PM Modi and what made him resign, Anil Antony said, “Yesterday what I said was very clear, which is nothing against the stance of the party or any policy that is against anybody.”

He said that the very first sentence of his resignation letter makes it very clear that “politically I disagree with the BJP in a lot of things”, but when it comes to certain things such as core national interest and sovereignty, politics shouldn’t go above it.

“And I also said that as far as the documentary is concerned, there are certain things that make me cautious about where it is coming from, as they were the masterminds behind many things,” he said.

“And when I refused to retract or delete the tweet, then my Facebook and Twitter walls were filled with hate messages. And the end of the day, I find it very shameful and disappointing that a party like Congress, with its stature, lineage and capability, has now come down to this level,” he said.

When asked about the coterie of sycophants in the party, the son of a veteran Congress leader said, “Different people have different experiences and I find it very alarming that a lot of people, especially some of the most senior leaders who have been here for four to five decades and some of the most accomplished young people with potential, are leaving the party. I find it very alarming.”

When asked whether his father, who is very close to the Gandhi family, would be happy with his decision to leave all the posts in the party, Anil Antony said, “Today I have not quit the party but have quit the formal roles that I was given. And I had done so based on my best understanding and what my conscience was saying. I don’t think he would have ever disagreed on that.”

When asked about the report prepared by his father after the 2014 election rout saying that Congress’ image has become more pro-minority, he said, “At the end of the day, these are very complicated questions. We are a secular party that doesn’t differentiate between minorities and majorities in any manner. We are a truly secular outfit. I think that is what my father meant and whatever he has written, I completely agree with it.”

At a time when Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra is in its final leg in Jammu and Kashmir, does he feel that resigning at this juncture will hurt the party, Anil Antony said, “I had no intention to hurt the party in any manner. I have the highest regard for Rahul Gandhi as he is walking from Kanyakumari to Kashmir to unite this country and spread his message of love and end hatred.”

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