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Former Kerala State Chief's Son Quits Congress Over BBC Documentary Row

© AP Photo / Manish SwarupA statue of Mahatma Gandhi overlooks the Indian parliament building (File)
A statue of Mahatma Gandhi overlooks the Indian parliament building (File) - Sputnik India, 1920, 25.01.2023
Anil Antony was a prominent member of Congress' Kerala unit and used to look after the social media cell of the party in the state.
Senior Congress politician and former Kerala State Chief A.K. Antony's son Anil Antony quit the party on Wednesday, alleging pressure from within the political outfit to retract his remarks in support of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He took an indirect dig at Congress parliamentarian and former party chief Rahul Gandhi for his departure from the party, claiming the "abuses by ones supporting a trek to promote love" were behind his decision to exit from the Congress.
His "trek to promote love" was an oblique reference to the Gandhi scion's ongoing 'Bharat Jodo Yatra' foot march, currently on its last leg in Jammu and Kashmir union territory.

"I have resigned from my roles in the Congress. Intolerant calls to retract a tweet, by those fighting for free speech. I refused. [social media] wall of hate/abuses by ones supporting a trek to promote love! Hypocrisy thy name is! Life goes on," Anil tweeted.

In a no-holds-barred attack on the Congress leadership, Anil further stated that the party was only interested in working with sycophants.
"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," he added.
Anil's decision to leave India's main opposition party came after he slammed a controversial BBC documentary on Prime Minister Modi, labeling it a "dangerous precedent."

"Despite large differences with BJP, I think those in India placing the views of BBC, a Great Britain state sponsored channel with a long history of Indian prejudices, and of Jack Straw, the brain behind the Iraq war, over Indian institutions are setting a dangerous precedent, which will undermine our sovereignty," he tweeted on Tuesday.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi attends a celebration ceremony at the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) headquarters in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022. - Sputnik India, 1920, 24.01.2023
Sputnik Opinion
Attempt to Pressure India? Experts Weigh In on Controversial BBC Documentary
His view on the documentary completely diverged from the Congress' official line and former party chief Rahul Gandhi's views on the matter.
While the Indian government has banned the screening of the film in India and the authorities are attempting to block it from being shared online, the Congress has announced that it would screen it in states where the opposition is in power.
The documentary examines Modi's role in the 2002 Gujarat riots, when he was the head of the government in the state.
Previously, India's Foreign Ministry had dubbed the BBC series on Modi a "propaganda piece" before adding it reflected a "colonial mindset".
"We think this is a propaganda piece designed to push a particular discredited narrative. The bias, the lack of objectivity, and frankly a continuing colonial mindset, is blatantly visible," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said last week.
Anil's father A.K. Antony is among the top leaders of the Congress from Kerala, having previously served as State Chief and federal Defence Minister when the party was ruling at the federal level from 2004 to 2014.