THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Congress has retaliated against the CPM's cyber attack on CWC leader AK Antony after his comment that it was the erstwhile royal families who had laid the foundation for the state’s advances in the health sector. Now, the tables have turned against the CPM with people openly discussing the state government's failure to arrange adequate quarantine facilities, say Congress leaders.
Post COVID-19, Antony had not been talking about politics, saying that now it's time to stand united to combat the pandemic. He recalled the services of the erstwhile royal families in the state which saw impressive health standards being practised that led to the enhancement of the infrastructure of primary health centres. But this did not go down well with CPM cyber warriors as they felt the credit for combating COVID-19 should go to the Pinarayi Vijayan government’s tough measures.
AICC secretary PC Vishnunath raised the issue of Antony being targeted by the CPM’s cyber warriors at the recently held high power Political Affairs Committee meeting. Vishnunath told The New Indian Express that it was unfortunate that Antony was even being body-shamed.
“Congress leaders including Antony have so far only made factual statements. If earlier this practice of cyber bullying was practised by the BJP leadership in targeting former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, now the same is being unleashed against Antony and Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala by the CPM’s cyber warriors," said Vishnunath who is also one of the KPCC vice presidents.
But in a way, Antony is happy with the turn of events as he feels that his views on enhancing public health centres are being widely discussed on various social media platforms. Congress leaders say that Chief Minister Vijayan’s claim that more than four lakh beds have been readied for expats as quarantine facilities was nothing but a farce.
“On their arrival, it came to light that the Left government’s words were hollow as even basic facilities were denied. It has only brought ridicule to CPM cyber warriors as social media is abuzz about it,” said Manacaud Suresh, KPCC general secretary to TNIE.
This is not the first time Antony has incurred the wrath of cyber warriors. Immediately after the 2019 general elections when the Congress suffered a debacle, allies in the UPA had blamed senior AICC leaders including Antony. A section of Congress leaders in Kerala also took advantage of this and unleashed an attack on Antony which was condemned by the KPCC leadership.
The UDF parliamentary party has formed a four-member team of legislators led by VD Satheesan to counter the CPM's cyber attack which also includes youth MLAs VT Balram, Roji M John and Shafi Parambil.