Congress in Kerala on Wednesday came down heavily on veteran leader A K Antony’s son over his tweet on the controversial BBC documentary saying those with different opinions may seek other avenues.
Hours after Anil Antony submitted his resignation from party positions, senior Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly, V D Satheesan said the former Defence Minister’s son took a stand contrary to the proclaimed policies of the grand old party.
He also welcomed Anil’s decision to relieve from the responsibilities which the party had entrusted him with.
An agitated Youth Congress leadership in the southern state said he cannot uphold such a contradictory view standing within the ideological framework of the Congress party.
Earlier in the day, senior leader Shashi Tharoor, said to be close to Anil, also rejected his views and termed as “immature” his arguments on the British broadcaster’s documentary.
“I feel that this is an immature stand… Because, the sovereignty of our country cannot be affected so easily… will it be affected if a foreign documentary is screened?…whether our national security and sovereignty are so fragile to be affected by a documentary?” he said.
Tharoor, however, said Anil, who had handled the digital communications of the party for sometime, was a “good person” and he had not discussed the BBC documentary issue with him.
Satheesan did not show any mercy towards Antony’s son and said Anil took a stand contrary to the Congress party’s proclaimed policies and so he welcomed his decision to relieve from the responsibilities which the party had entrusted him with.
He said KPCC chief K Sudhakaran had already clarified the party’s stand on the BBC documentary issue.
“It applies to everyone. Those with different opinions may seek other avenues. Any comments made by anyone against the party’s stand will not be accepted,” he told reporters in Idukki.
Stating that Anil is a person who knows about the policies of the party, Satheesan said his opinions can be said from outside the party.
If he stands by his opinion on the BBC documentary, the party will look into it seriously, he added.
If it is banned in the country, the Congress would take lead to screen the documentary defying the ban, he said adding that this was also part of relentless struggles to bring back democratic, republican and constitutional values of the country.
Youth Congress State president Shafi Parambil also rejected Anil’s views and said India’s sovereignty is not a bubble which can be burst so easily.
The country’s sovereignty has a strong foundation which was built through the freedom struggle and the rights guaranteed by the Constitution.
“So, we are not ready to accept or believe that criticisms against Modi are against India… Anil’s resignation was inevitable ideologically. Because, he cannot uphold such a view standing within the framework of the Congress party,” he said in Palakkad.
The stand adopted by the Congress party on the issue would not be diluted with the statement of an individual, the leader, also an MLA, said.
When asked whether Anil had failed to deliver his duty to promote and give publicity to the Bharat Jodo Yatra in his capacity as the National Co-coordinator of AICC Social Media and Digital Communications Cell, Parambil said the party would look into such matters.
If he had not delivered his responsibilities properly, it was a lapse, the leader added.
However, BJP State chief K Surendran welcomed Anil’s resignation as Digital Media Convenor of the Congress and said it was a set back for the anti-national approach of the party leadership.
His resignation was an example for the situation that patriots cannot work in the Congress party, he charged and added that Anil became unpopular for the party now because of his opposition to the encroachment of foreign powers on the integrity, unity and sovereignty of the country.
Anil had on Tuesday tweeted that despite large differences with the BJP, those who support and place the views of the British broadcaster and of former UK foreign secretary Jack Straw, the “brain behind the Iraq war” (involving the US-led coalition in 2003) over Indian institutions are setting a dangerous precedent.
The two-part BBC documentary, which claims it investigated certain aspects relating to the 2002 Gujarat riots when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the Chief Minister of that state, has been trashed by the Ministry of External Affairs as a “propaganda piece” that lacked objectivity and reflected a “colonial mindset”.
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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)