KOCHI: The appointment of Anil K Antony, son of senior Congress leader A K Antony, as the convener of KPCC digital media cell, has kicked off a debate in the party with many leaders coming out overtly and covertly against the appointment.
All the criticisms are directed at Antony who has always been against nepotism in politics. Political analyst A Jayasankar, in a Facebook post, went all guns blazing against Antony for facilitating the back door entry for his son.
“During the Emergency, Antony spoke against Indira Gandhi for aiding nepotism. He also opposed Sanjay Gandhi and decided not to allow him to enter Kerala during that time. Later, he accepted the Gandhi family’s regime and granted a seat to K Muraleedharan, K Karunakaran’s son. Now, he is attempting to bring his son into Kerala politics by appointing him the digital media cell convenor,” said Jayasankar in the FB post. KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran had announced the appointment of Anil Antony at a press conference at New Delhi on Wednesday. The second generation leaders feel the decision was thrust upon them through the unilateral announcement.
Arun Raj, KPCC executive committee member and former Youth Congress general secretary, said the appointment of Sashi Tharoor MP as the chairman of KPCC IT cell was announced in a press release while the KPCC chief called a press conference for announcing the appointment of A K Antony’s son.
“As there are several leaders who have KSU and Youth Congress background and capable to perform any responsibilities, the induction of the leaders’ offsprings via backdoor is highly deplorable. K Sabarinathan MLA, who has no much political background, was fielded to contest in Aruvikkara constituency following his father G Karthikeyan’s demise thereby denying opportunities to many young leaders in the district. Now, he is going to contest as president of Youth Congress. Besides, there are moves to field the daughter of late M I Shanavas MP in Wayanad and to appoint former minister C N Balakrishnan’s daughter as party functionary,” he said.
Speculations are also rife about the big entry of Oommen Chandy’s son Chandy Oommen either in state politics or in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. However, another youth leader cited the professional capacity of Anil Antony and his service would infuse fresh energy to the party in the state in its social media campaigns, given his domain knowledge.
“Anil Antony, a graduate of Stanford University, USA, and College of Engineering, Thiruvananthapuram (CET), was involved in data analytical jobs for the Congress party in Gujarat and Karnataka Assembly polls,” he said.
If this is the criteria, then there are better qualified tech-savvy youngsters who have toiled for the party for the past several years, say party sources. Youth Congress leader T R Rajesh, who was district president of KSU when Anil was only a student at CET, is an MTech and was spearheading online media campaigns for the Congress against the cyber attacks of the CPM and other political rivals. However, he was not even considered for the digital media cell, said Arun.
Anil Antony’s appointment
KPCC chief Mullappally Ramachandran had announced the posting of Anil Antony at a press conference in New Delhi on Wednesday.
The second generation leaders feel the decision was thrust upon them through the unilateral announcement.