Thiruvananthapuram: One of Congress’s top notch leader A.K.Antony has reportedly gone into a shell after his son Anil Antony quit his party post, alleging “intolerant calls to retract a tweet”, in which he had defied his party line and criticised a BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, terming it a “dangerous precedent”.
According to those in the know of things, 82-year-old Antony, who currently holds the record of being the longest serving Defence Minister in the country, is deeply upset over a remark made by his junior colleague Jairam Ramesh.
Without naming, Ramesh drew a comparison between former Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy’s son — Chandy Oommen — and Antony’s son Anil Antony.
“A tale of two sons of two CMs from the same state. One is a Bharat Yatri and walking tirelessly, mostly barefoot to unite our nation in the Bharat Jodo Yatra. The other is revelling in his day in the Sun today having ignored his duties to the party and the yatra,” the former Union minister Ramesh wrote on his Twitter handle.
After his term ended in the Upper House in April last year, Antony returned to the state capital to his house here.
Since then, other than his occasional visits to office in the state party headquarters, he is rarely seen in public party functions. During a recent party meeting, he asked all in the party presently divided as always amongst various faction leaders to keep aside all differences and focus on the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
Antony, who is known for always keeping a low profile, is also known for his sensitive nature.
A media critic on condition of anonymity said Antony is perhaps going through a very tough time because of the way his son reacted.
“Knowing the Congress leaders’ mindset, it can be said that the attack is not against Anil, but against Antony. When in Delhi, Antony has always wielded the sword of discipline against erring state leaders by prevailing upon the party high command. And when it came to distribution of party tickets, his was the last word. The ground rule in the state unit of the party in the past over two decades was never to rub Antony on the wrong way,” said the critic.
Incidentally, yesterday when he came to attend a private function, Antony ducked the media’s questions on his son saying that he is in a private function.
Now all eyes will be on the ongoing Assembly session as the treasury benches will lose no chance to hit the Congress-led opposition when they take Antony and his son’s statement to checkmate the opposition.