#Politics | Congress hits out at Anil Antony: ‘Revelling in his day in the sun … Ignored duty to party’

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The Congress on Wednesday sharply reacted to the decision of former Kerala Chief Minister A K Antony’s son to resign from all party posts over the party’s reaction to his tweet on the BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Antony said he was stepping down from the party’s digital teams over some leaders’ “‘intolerant calls to retract” his tweet.

Jairam Ramesh, the Congress general secretary in charge of communications, compared Antony to Chandy Oomen, the son of former CM Oomen Chandy who is currently walking on the Bharat Jodo Yatra along with Rahul Gandhi. He tweeted, ”A Tale of Two Sons of Two CMs from the same state (Kerala). One (Oomen Chandy’s son Chandy Oomen) is a Bharat Yatri and walking tirelessly, mostly barefoot to unite our nation in the #BharatJodoYatra. The other (Antony) is revelling in his day in the sun today having ignored his duties to the Party and the Yatra.”

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In his resignation letter, Antony thanked Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor for guiding him. News agency ANI quoted Tharoor as saying, “I have not spoken to Anil. He has not discussed it with me, but he is capable of speaking for himself.”

In an interview to ANI, Antony said, “This is my personal decision and I do think this is the best course of action.” Saying that “he does not think the Congress has space for him”, he added, “I did not discuss it with my father (A K Anthony). I’ve sent my resignation and I hope that the leadership will accept it.”

He added: “It is very disappointing because you have your leader Rahul Gandhi who is walking from Kanyakumari to Kashmir spreading the message of love and his supporters are tearing down everything he is trying to achieve.”

Meanwhile, the BJP hit out at the Congress. Party spokesperson Shehzad Poonawala, who quit the Congress in 2017 and later joined the BJP, said, “My dear friend Anil Antony’s resignation from Congress is deja vu for me. Nothing has changed in Congress since I was forced out for speaking against dynasty. The Congress has an emergency, intolerant mindset & it pretends to be a torchbearer of free speech! Pehle Congress Jodo (Unite the Congress first).”

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“Anil Antony ji proved that for him, national interest is greater than the policy of @INCIndia which goes to the extent of betraying one’s own country to win elections,” said BJP’s Andhra Pradesh secretary Ramesh Naidu Nagothu.

Calling the Congress “the most tyrant political party”, Vishnu Vardhan Reddy, the general secretary of BJP’s Andhra Pradesh unit said, “He (Antony) was hounded, got threat calls to take back his tweet where he questioned keeping a foreign voice above Indian courts.”

Earlier in the day, sharing a copy of his resignation letter to the party leadership, Anil tweeted: “I have resigned from my roles in @incindia @INCKerala. Intolerant calls to retract a tweet, by those fighting for free speech. I refused. @facebook wall of hate/abuses by ones supporting a trek to promote love! Hypocrisy thy name is! Life goes on. Redacted resignation letter below.”

Opposing the documentary, Antony Tuesday said that placing the views of the British broadcaster over Indian institutions would “undermine” the country’s sovereignty. His remarks came on a day when the state Youth Congress organised screenings of the documentary across the state.