Congress State digital media convener Anil. K. Antony’s tweet, interpreted as supportive of the Central government’s censorship of the BBC documentary “ India: The Modi Question”, has come as a propaganda setback for the party ahead of the culmination of Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra.
The social media post has reportedly dispirited the Congress workers who organised public screenings of the documentary braving the Centre’s “ban” and confrontational Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) activists. Moreover, the KPCC reportedly has felt that the “tactless tweet” advantaged the BJP which is looking to woo dissenting voices in the Congress.
Not surprisingly, BJP State president K. Surendran endorsed the tweet that the BBC documentary undermined India’s sovereignty. He said Mr. Antony’s resignation from party posts indicates that patriots have no place in the Congress. His nationalist political position has rendered him anathema to the Congress.
In his resignation note, Mr. Antony has seemingly ceded a political edge to party detractors by indicating that a cabal of loyalist sycophants controlled the Congress and that meritocracy is the causality.
The letter, published on Twitter, has seemed to play into BJP’s narrative that court intrigues and dynastic politics plague Congress’s national leadership.
Meanwhile, the Congress has scrambled to mitigate the propaganda setback on the eve of the culmination of the yatra by cracking the whip on perceived indiscipline and public posturing on sensitive issues without the party’s consent.
Leader of the Opposition V.D. Satheesan has said no party could afford to allow individual members to publicly dispute the official line lest it affects organisational cohesion and disillusioned the rank and file. Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president K. Sudhakran would take a final call in the matter.
Youth Congress State vice president Rejill Makkotty has said Mr. Antony’s “abandonment” of party responsibilities is insufficient to ensure organisational discipline. He has demanded Mr. Antony’s expulsion. Congress leader K. Muraleedharan has also joined the chorus of inner-party criticism against the tweet.