Says he should have quit in the wake of the recent submarine accidents

Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan has said that Defence Minister A.K. Antony had failed to handle the sensitive Defence Ministry properly. He should have resigned taking moral responsibility for the series of accidents involving our submarines that killed a number of naval officers recently.

Addressing a huge campaign rally of Left Democratic Front (LDF) candidate in Alathur P.K. Biju at Nallepully in Chittur, near here, on Thursday, Mr. Achuthanandan said that Mr. Antony who advised people on political morality and ethics accepted the resignation of the Naval Chief but did not take the moral responsibility for the accidents himself. He should have followed the great examples of Congress leaders such as the late Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri who resigned taking moral responsibility for a railway accident when he was the Railway Minister.

Mr. Achuthanandan said that during Antony’s tenure, many corruption charges were raised against defence deals and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was probing them.

Mr. Antony was trying to hoodwink the people of the State, especially the high range farmers, on the Kasturirangan Committee report. When 123 villages in the State were notified as ecologically sensitive, Mr. Antony was saying that the report would not affect the farmers. “When the farmers are demanding to throw the Kasturirangan report into the Arabian Sea, Mr. Antony says that it will not affect the farmers. But the November 13, 2013, order notifying 123 villages as sensitive areas still remains,” he said.

He said that the Congress government at the Centre and its Ministers from Kerala had failed to take forward major projects such as the Vizhinjam seaport project, the wagon factory at Cherthala and the railway coach factory in Palakkad, which were initiated by the previous LDF government in the State.

The UPA’s anti-farmer policies had led to a situation where every half an hour a farmer committed suicide in the country. If the UPA came to power again, farmer suicides would go up, he said.

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