Congress veteran AK Antony's son Anil K Antony quit the party today alleging “intolerant calls to retract a tweet” in which he had defied his party's stand and denounced a BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a “dangerous precedent”.
Anil Antony, who was part of the Congress's social media cell in Kerala, shared his resignation letter on Twitter and cited “abuses by ones supporting a trek to promote love” in a caustic reference to Rahul Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Yatra.
I have resigned from my roles in @incindia@INCKerala.Intolerant calls to retract a tweet,by those fighting for free speech.I refused. @facebook wall of hate/abuses by ones supporting a trek to promote love! Hypocrisy thy name is! Life goes on. Redacted resignation letter below. pic.twitter.com/0i8QpNIoXW— Anil K Antony (@anilkantony) January 25, 2023
He also alleged that he had received threat calls and hate messages “through the night”. “A lot of things that happened in the last 24 hours, especially from certain corners of Congress, have hurt me a lot,” he told news agency ANI.
Anil Antony's “redacted resignation letter” slammed the party leadership, saying: “By now, I have been made well aware that you, your colleagues, and the coterie around the leadership are only keen to work with a bunch of sycophants and chamchas, who would unquestionably be at your beck and call. This has become the lone criterion of merit.”
Yesterday, Anil Antony called the BBC a state-sponsored channel with a “long history of prejudices against India”, while slamming a two-part series focusing on PM Modi and the 2002 Gujarat riots.
Despite large differences with BJP, I think those in 🇮🇳 placing views of BBC, a 🇬🇧 state sponsored channel with a long history of 🇮🇳 prejudices,and of Jack Straw, the brain behind the Iraq war, over 🇮🇳 institutions is setting a dangerous precedence,will undermine our sovereignty.— Anil K Antony (@anilkantony) January 24, 2023
His view was in complete contrast to the stand of the Congress in Kerala, which announced that the documentary would be screened in different parts of the state.
The documentary, which investigates allegations linked to the 2002 Gujarat riots, has been slammed by the Ministry of External Affairs as a "propaganda piece designed to push a discredited narrative". The documentary reflects a "colonial mindset", the government said.
The opposition has accused the Centre of ordering the blocking of multiple YouTube videos and Twitter posts sharing links to the documentary.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, speaking to reporters in Jammu during his Bharat Jodo Yatra, questioned what he called censorship by the government. "Truth shines bright. It has a nasty habit of coming out. So no amount of banning, oppression and frightening people is going to stop the truth from coming out," he said.
Speaking with NDTV, Mr Antony said he doesn't agree with the BJP and its ideology but he is against any ban on the documentary.
"I was upset with the threats and the way the party has been behaving in the last year, especially after my tweet yesterday," Mr Antony said.
Anil Antony's father AK Antony is one of the Congress's top leaders and was Union Defence Minister when the party was in power.
"I acted on my own and did not consult my father," Mr Antony told NDTV.