He might be in charge of the country’s Air Force, Army and the Navy. But that, and several other prestigious positions that he has held in the past, have never come in the way of a visit on one particular day to his hometown.

Union Defence Minister A.K. Antony continued with one custom that he has unwaveringly followed for the last 19 years here on Friday as he arrived for the 19th death anniversary of his mother, Aleykutty Kurian. Reaching the St. Mary’s Forana Church at sharp 7 a.m., Mr. Antony took part in the special mass led by church vicar Fr. Sebastian Manickathan and later at a prayer in the cemetery as well.

Later, as he walked down a few hundred metres to his ancestral home of Arackaparambil, Mr. Antony told reporters that every year, he would keep aside two hours for his mother, with whom he was deeply attached.

There would be no politics on this day, he added.

As he walked, there were several of his old friends whom he met and exchanged pleasantries with on the way. Just before entering his home, he did not forget to pay a quick visit to the nearby AITUC office as well, greeting the CPI-leaning workers there.

A.A. Shukoor, who resigned his councilor post on Friday to take oath as a legislator this month after winning the November 7 by-poll, United Democratic Front district chairman C.R. Jayaprakash and District Congress Committee in-charge president Koshy M. Koshy, along with several other Congress leaders, apart from his family members and relatives, accompanied Mr. Antony.

Mr. Antony also makes it a point to reach the church on the death anniversary of his father, A.T. Kurian, every year on June 14. This year was the 50th death anniversary of his father.

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