BJP has vision for next 25 years, Congress does not have one for 25 days: Anil Antony
Cyberbullying has become a regular affair. I was targeted when in Congress. But now that I have left the party, I am in a positive frame of mind.
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: I joined the BJP without any expectations, says Anil Antony, whose recent move from the country’s grand old party has been a major talking point. Speaking to The New Indian Express, the son of veteran Congress leader A K Antony says the BJP has a vision for the country for the next 25 years, while the Congress has become rudderless, without a road map for even the next 25 days.
Have you been a victim of cyberbullying since joining the BJP?
Cyberbullying has become a regular affair. I was targeted when in Congress. But now that I have left the party, I am in a positive frame of mind. But cyberbullying persists in some quarters. It is understandable when your political opponents do it.
What’s going to be your role in the BJP?
I have had conversations with the state and central leadership. The party understands that I have certain experiences and skill sets. They have a 25-year, long-term plan for the country. The PM has a clear vision to transform India into a developed country by 2048. I was looking for a platform where I can contribute towards nation-building. I joined the party without any expectations.
Will you be accompanying PM Modi to Kochi on April 25?
These decisions will be taken by the party. The state leadership informed me about the Kochi event, where I would be chairing the youth enclave. I will attend the event along with the PM and others. But I do not know about the logistics of the event.
The BJP roped in Christian leaders like Alphons Kannanthanam and Tom Vadakkan. But they did not make an impact. Will you be able to break the jinx?
These are the misconceptions of political opponents. Kannanthanam was a top-performing Union minister who contributed much to Kerala. Vadakkan is an established spokesperson of the party who promotes the PM’s vision across the country. He is also a national executive member. I did not join the party for any particular role.
Do you expect minority communities to benefit from your move to the BJP?
I see myself as an Indian youth. It’s a country where 60-65% of the population is under 40 years of age. We have a central government that was chosen in 2014 and 2019 with the biggest mandate in modern Indian history.
In Kerala’s case, it’s just a matter of time. We saw what happened in the Northeast, West Bengal, Telangana and Tripura. Very soon, the BJP will grow into a significant electoral force in Kerala.
Going forward, do you expect the Congress state leadership to struggle?
People, especially the young, do not see the Congress as the present or the future. This is why election after election, the party is getting rejected. The party has a rudderless leadership that doesn’t even have a 25-day vision.
How do you view the emergence of K C Venugopal?
I have known Venugopal since my childhood. He had emerged through grassroots work and is a good man.
You were born with a silver spoon, unlike your father, who had come up the hard way. Has politics been easy for you?
I was lucky to have my background. Ever since my childhood, I interacted with political stalwarts. I have tried to learn, but there are other areas in life including technology, and world affairs. Side by side, I was learning politics. How it came to me is not something I can handle. It is for others to judge.
You said everyone in Congress is working for a family. Within hours, your father reiterated his loyalty to the Nehru family. Has A K Antony disowned his son?
My father and I have political differences and differing perspectives on where the country is now and where it’s headed. Whatever our differences, I have deep love and highest respect for him. I have learnt a lot from him. I understand where his views come from. He has been in Congress and a parliamentarian for 60-plus years.
Your brother, Ajith, in an interview with TNIE, said he desires your return to Congress.
We are independent individuals, and are free to pursue our independent paths. Politics is politics, but that doesn’t affect our relationship in any way.