BJP-Shiv Sena will get no Congress MLA: Antony

Rahul Gandhi ‘will be back’, he says

Published - November 08, 2019 02:51 pm IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

Congress Working Committee member A. K. Antony on Friday said no Congress legislator in Maharashtra would defect to the BJP or the Shiv Sena.

The Congress and its ally, the Nationalist Congress Party, had closed their ranks against sly attempts by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to poach legislators, he told journalists at the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) headquarters at Indira Bhavan here.

Mr. Antony said the BJP and the Sena had cheated the people of Maharashtra by wrangling over the Chief Minister's chair.

The protracted post poll shadow-boxing by the alliance partners had left the State in limbo. The State people deserved a government, which the shaky BJP-Shiv Sena alliance seemed unable to provide.

When asked about Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's whereabouts and “frequent unexplained absenteeism” from the political scene in critical periods of Indian politics, he said “Rahul will be back”. To a query if Mr. Gandhi would take charge again , he said his words “conveyed everything”.

Mr. Antony posited India's decision not to sign the RCEP treaty in its current form as a victory for party chief Sonia Gandhi and Mr. Gandhi and the Congress-led Opposition at the Centre.

He slammed the Narendra Modi government for reducing the State of Jammu and Kashmir into Union Territories. The BJP had jailed its opponents in J&K, he said.

The Central government had led the country into financial ruin. The BJP government worked for a few corporates. The struggles of the ordinary person were the least of their concerns. The BJP was selling the country's hard-earned wealth. It had taken mammoth loans from the Reserve Bank of India and was now selling the country’s gold reserves. The public sector was up for sale. So were public utility services and critical national assets such as airports, railways and ports. Unemployment was at its highest. Wage stagnation, threat of layoffs, spiralling cost of living, steep hike in fuel and provision prices confronted employees. The agriculture sector was in shambles. Lakhs of farmers were on the verge of suicide, he said.

From November 5, the Congress would hold rallies in all the States against the Centre's “misrule”. In December, it would hold a rally in New Delhi.

Mr. Antony declined to comment on the proposed reorganisation of the KPCC. He also refused to get drawn into Kerala politics, which he left in 2004. “I play a supportive and supplementary role in Kerala when asked to do so”, he added.

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