Senior Congress leader A.K. Antony on Wednesday said he would quit active parliamentary politics and not seek his re-election to the Rajya Sabha, but will continue to contribute to party politics in Kerala.
The former Defence Minister, whose term as Rajya Sabha member ends on April 2, said he wanted younger party members to get a chance and that he had turned 81 and did not keep good health. He said he would be shifting base to his home State after retiring from the Rajya Sabha next month. “I would not be seeking re-election to Parliament as I have grown old. I wish to quit active parliamentary politics but would continue to focus on party politics in Kerala and not in Delhi any more,” Mr. Antony told PTI over phone from Kerala. Mr. Antony has been one of the senior-most members of the Congress party who enjoys the trust of the Gandhi family. He has also headed several committees on party reforms and electoral defeats, including the one after the 2014 general elections. He has been a member of the Kerala Assembly since 1970 and became Kerala Chief Minister three times, in 1977, 1995 and 2001. Mr. Antony has been a five-time Rajya Sabha member since 1985 and was the Defence and Civil Supplies Minister in the Union Cabinet led by Manmohan Singh.