Congress MP Anto Antony’s Pulwama remark sparks controversy, BJP demands his arrest

Congress MP Anto Antony said that the Union govt comes up with issues to fetch votes, citing the CAA notification this week, and the Pulwama attack in February 2019.
Anto Antony
Anto AntonyIANS
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Congress MP from Kerala's Pathanamthitta, Anto Antony, has sparked controversy with his remark that the Union government comes up with issues that will enable them to fetch more votes ahead of elections. The MP cited the example of the Citizenship Amendment Act rules that were notified on March 11, as well as the Pulwama attack of 2019.

“The CAA has been notified ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. Similarly, before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls came the Pulwama attack. The Defence establishment was perplexed as to how such a large consignment of explosives was sourced without the knowledge of those in the know of things. What was the role of Pakistan in it? The lives of the security personnel were sacrificed, and this has been already pointed out by then J&K Governor Satya Pal Mallik,” the MP said, while addressing the media on Wednesday, March 13.

He added, "The BJP-appointed then governor himself said that the jawans should have been transported by helicopter. It is not aloowed to transport such a large number of personnel by road. Yet, they were purposefully taken by road and the attack happened, resulting in their deaths. This is what the governor said."

The Pulwama attack had killed 40 CRPF personnel in February 2019.

The remark has triggered a BJP attack against Anto Antony, with Kerala BJP President K Surendran demanding his arrest for the "anti-national statement that Pakistan had no role in the Pulwama attack". Surendran said that everybody knows that Antony made the statement "to garner votes from a particular section of the society".

“This is a cruel statement as it will affect the morale of our forces. The voters at Pathanamthitta will give a befitting reply to Antony’s pro-Pakistan remark. The responsible authorities should ensure that Antony is put in jail for his anti-national statement,” said Surendran.

Meanwhile, Anto Antony’s opponent from the BJP in Pathanamthitta, Anil K Antony, who's the son of former Defence Minister and Congress veteran AK Antony, said that he will take legal steps against Anto Antony's "irresponsible statement".

In an interview given to Reporter TV, Anto Antony responded to the controversy, stating, "Let the file a case against me. But before that, why has no case been booked against Satya Pal Malik, nor any answer given to the grave allegations he raised? He was once the national vice president of the BJP as well as the governor of four states."

He continued, "I stand by my statement. If they are accusing me of sedition, let Surendran answer this - the wives of the slain jawans conducted a staygraha in Delhi, were they also anti-national? If they are going to put me in jail, let them. I am contesting this election with the courage to face all that."

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