Former Congress leader and son of former Defense Minister of India, AK Antony, Anil Antony, has joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in a move that is expected to bolster the party’s presence in the southern state of Kerala.
Anil Antony was in charge of the Congress Party’s social media cell in Kerala before he left the party. He made the decision to switch to the BJP following a row surrounding the BBC documentary on the 2002 Gujarat riots. After the release of the documentary, Antony termed it to be “prejudiced against India”. While the Congress party and other opposition parties supported the content of the documentary, they also criticized the BJP for banning it from several channels.
Antony officially joined the BJP in the presence of senior BJP leader Piyush Goyal, V Murlidharan, and Kerala’s BJP chief K Surendran. Speaking to reporters after his induction, Antony said, “Every Congress worker believes they are working for a family. But I believe I am working for the country. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a very clear vision of putting India in a leading place in a multi-polar world.”
Mr. Goyal, welcoming Antony into the party, said, “His views reflect similar with those of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on sustainable development. We have confidence he will continue to play a very active role and help grow the BJP’s footprint in southern India.”
#WATCH | "Many of the Congress leaders believe that their duty is to work for a particular family but I believe that my duty is to work for the people. PM Modi has a clear vision to make India a developed country in the next 25 years…": says Anil Antony, soon after joining BJP pic.twitter.com/G3rTjP0oYG
— ANI (@ANI) April 6, 2023
While joining the BJP, Antony made it clear that there were significant differences in opinion between him and the party, but he believed that the country’s sovereignty and national interests should be kept above partisan politics. “The country’s sovereignty comes over everything else,” he said.
With Anil Antony now part of the BJP, the party will be hoping for a change in the party’s performance in Kerala, where it has struggled to gain support. The BJP sees Antony’s entry as a significant boost to its fortunes in the southern state, where the party has been far from the first choice of voters.