Hours after Anil Antony, the son of former Defence Minister A.K. Antony, quit the Congress, Kerala BJP chief K. Surendran said that "this is the way Congress party functions".
Anil Antony quit the party alleging "intolerant calls to retract a tweet", in which he had defied his party line and criticised a BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, terming it as a "dangerous precedent".
Anil Antony, who headed Congress' IT wing in Kerala, tweeted, "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."
"The Congress just cannot accept anyone who shows his love and concerns for the country. Just see how Anil is being attacked. Anil aired his love for the country, but the Congress has other interests and it at times projects them just as it happened now. We welcome Anil's statement," said Surendran.
"To divert the burning issues in Kerala, the Pinarayi Vijayan government is using this documentary as a cover up exercise. It is using the office of power to engage in anti-national acts," added Surendran.
Anil Antony's tweet that triggered the controversy read, "Despite large differences with BJP, I think those in India placing views of BBC, a (UK) state sponsored channel with a long history of India prejudices, and of Jack Straw, the brain behind the Iraq war, over Indian institutions is setting a dangerous precedence, it will undermine our sovereignty."
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In his resignation letter, Anil Antony wrote, "Considering the events from Tuesday, I believe it would be appropriate for me to leave all my roles in the Congress - as the convenor of the KPCC digital media, and as the national coordinator of AICC social media and digital communication cell.
"Kindly consider this as my resignation letter. I would like to thank everyone, especially the Kerala state leadership and Shashi Tharoor, along with countless party workers, who had wholeheartedly supported and guided me at various times, during my brief period here," he said.
"I am sure that I have my own unique strength which could have enabled me to contribute very effectively to the party in several ways. However, 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. Sadly we don't have much common ground," he added.
"I would prefer to continue with my other professional endeavours without being fed this negativity and being involved in these destructive narratives, many against the very core interests of India. These I strongly believe will end up in the dustbin of history with time," he concluded.
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