New Delhi: Senior Congress leader A.K. Antony’s wife, Elizabeth Antony has claimed that their son Anil Antony switched to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in April this year because of a Congress rule against dynastic politics. In a video interview shared by many social media users Saturday, Elizabeth added a local pastor helped her accept the decision.
“I went to Father Joseph. He said, ‘Don’t pray for his return. He will have good fortune there.’ That made my mind calm. Hearing that, all my anger and reservations about the BJP were removed. On the spot, I took heart from his words,” she said.
Anil Antony joined the BJP earlier this year and was appointed the national spokesperson of the party in August.
In an interview with Asianet News, Elizabeth said a resolution “against dynasty politics” was taken at the Congress’s Chintan Shivir in Udaipur last year.
“It was my son’s big dream to join the Congress. But at the working committee meeting at the Chintan Shivir, they (the Congress) took a stance against dynastic politics”, she claimed.
She added: “That means both my sons will not be able to join politics. My son’s luck is that he’s 38 years old”.
The Udaipur Chintan Shivir had advocated for “one parivaar (family), one ticket”— meaning that only one member of a family would be given a ticket for one election.
The party had further clarified that this rule would apply to those members of a family who’d joined less than five years ago, at the behest of one family member. Those who’d been in the organisation for at least five years would be exempted from the rule.
‘Don’t pray for his return’
Talking about Anil joining the BJP, Elizabeth said, “My son called me and said, ‘Amma, I’ve got a call from the PMO. They’ve told me to join the BJP. If I join the BJP, I’ll have many opportunities, they said’,”.
Reiterating her faith in the Congress, Elizabeth further said, “What we believe in is the Congress party. The thought of joining the BJP causes me grief.”
She then went on to add that she consulted a pastor at a local church, who had told her that joining the BJP was the best option for Anil.
In an interview with ThePrint in January, Anil said that he was targeted over his views on the BBC’s two-part documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s handling of the 2002 Gujarat riots as then chief minister of the state.
Anil, at the time, had said that the views of a “state-sponsored channel with a long history of prejudices” could not be given precedence over the views of a sovereign nation. His brother Ajith had then said that the BJP would use him and then throw him out like “curry leaves”.
(Edited by Richa Mishra)
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