May 2023 \ Interviews \ Politics

By Arun Lakshman

Thiruvananthapuram: Anil K. Antony, son of veteran Congress leader and former Union Minister A.K. Antony who quit the Congress and joined the BJP said that more and more youths will join the BJP as it was the only political party pursuing a nationalistic cause.

Anil Antony, who is an MS degree holder from Stanford University and armed with a training from MIT in Artificial Intelligence, had been looking after the new media of the Congress party and was in charge of its IT cell.

In a brief interview to IANS, Anil Antony dwelled on the reasons why he shifted and his future course.

Anil Antony, the son of senior Congress leader has now quit the Congress formally and joined BJP. What made you take such a decision?

My father is a senior leader of the Congress and has been in the party for the past 65 years, my mother and my brother are also with the Congress or rather owe allegiance to the Congress. I was also a Congressman for several years and had been in the IT cell of the party but of late there has been a sea of changes in the Congress and the present day Congress is not the party of the past.

BJP is the only political party in the country at present that has a nationalistic approach and works tirelessly for the future of the nation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his team are taking the country forward in a big way and the progress of the country in all areas can be seen clearly. I have joined the BJP to work in the nation building process and for nothing else.

There is vehement criticism in Kerala, your home state, against your joining the BJP, both Congress and CPI-M are in the forefront in raising criticism against you. Your comments?

The criticism from Congress and CPI-M has always been expected. In a country where there is freedom of speech, anyone can voice their criticism but it should be within the limits. However I have received brickbats from the Congress even as I was part of that party. Now I have quit Congress, it is their right to criticise me and in a healthy democracy, one has to accept that.

As a young leader and son of a highly respected leader like A.K. Antony, has BJP extended some promises to you, I mean any party positions or governmental positions for you joining the BJP?

I have joined the BJP unilaterally and without any pre-conditions, I am a person who wants to actively involve myself in nation building and as I told you earlier, my idea to work with the BJP is only due to my personal convictions. I haven’t asked for any positions and the party has also not offered any such things for me. The thrill to work in a conducive environment wherein one can put one’s thoughts for the progress of the nation is what I am expecting in the BJP.

You are an alumnus of the famed Stanford and MIT. What was your impulse to join the BJP?

As I said earlier, the BJP is a political party which is into nation building and for providing equal opportunities to young leaders and technocrats alike. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is involved much in developing the nation through technocracy and this has also attracted me being a technical person myself. You can yourself understand that the UPI payment gateway of India is now being emulated in other countries. During the harried Covid days, the Cowin portal of our country was again used in other countries. Our Aadhar cards are useful for transferring the government welfare schemes to the accounts of the beneficiaries without any pilferage. The country is heading towards a zero tolerance to corruption and technology is a major harbinger of change for such an initiative. Naturally as a person with a technical background, I would love to work in such an ecosystem and I am no exception.

The BJP and its ideological mentor, RSS has often been criticized for being against the minorities. Don’t you have any issue in joining such a movement?

These are misconceptions & wrong messages being given. In the North Eastern states where the minority Christian community is a majority, the BJP or the NDA allies are in power and immense development is being witnessed in these states. People from the minority Christian community have voted the BJP and its allies in the NDA to power in these states.

If the BJP has been antagonistic to the minorities, will the people of these states vote the party to power? This means that a deliberate campaign is being unleashed that BJP is against the minorities which is totally wrong and I do feel that the minority communities are safe in the BJP-ruled states. In Goa also there is a Christian majority, and the BJP is in power for consecutive terms and the people won’t vote, if there had been any such attacks against them as is being spread. These are part of the malicious campaign being unleashed by certain forces to malign the BJP and its foreword growth.

Your younger brother Ajith Antony has expressed his solidarity with the Congress party and has even put the Congress electoral symbol ‘Hand’ in his social media accounts and he has also asked you to return back to the Congress fold. Your comments?

Ajith and I are brothers and we have love towards each other. But my political forays are purely based upon my conviction and there is nothing others can do in this. I have taken the decision to join the BJP after much thought. As I told you earlier, the BJP is the only political party in the country at present that is working for the national building process and I am part of that movement.