This is a 'Do or Die election on the idea of India', says Congress veteran AK Antony

AK Antony
AK Antony

Thiruvananthapuram | Veteran Congress leader AK Antony on Tuesday called the Lok Sabha polls a "Do or Die election' that will "decide whether the idea of India should exist", and said that if his health permits, he would campaign for UDF candidates, including against his son who is a BJP candidate.

"Everything will depend on my health condition," Antony told reporters here when asked whether he would go to Pathanamthitta to campaign for the UDF candidate in the Lok Sabha polls.

The pointed query was posed to the veteran leader as his son Anil K Antony is being fielded by the BJP in the Pathanamthitta constituency, where he is challenging sitting UDF MP Anto Antony, and the ruling LDF candidate, the senior CPI(M) leader and former minister T M Thomas Isaac.

Anil had joined the BJP in April last year after quitting the Congress, criticising the party's stand on the controversial documentary film of the BBC on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Modi had visited Pathanamthitta last week to campaign for Anil.

A K Antony, who is the former chief minister of Kerala and the longest-serving defence minister of the country, is currently living life away from politics in his home in the Kerala capital.

Having refrained from active politics for the last two years due to age-related factors, the veteran leader said he had ventured out of Thiruvananthapuram only twice for political purposes—to campaign for the Congress's Uma Thomas and Chandy Oommen (late Congress stalwart Oommen Chandy's son) when they contested the assembly byelections in the Thrikkakara and Puthuppally constituencies, respectively.

Antony said he would consider participating in the Congress's poll campaign by sitting in the KPCC office here.

A widely respected politician known for his simplicity, Antony said the upcoming poll battle is going to be a "do or die election" as it determines whether the idea of India should exist.

"This is a do-or-die election. This election will decide whether the idea of India should exist," he said, attacking the BJP's political ideology.

After nearly two decades of playing a key role in national politics in Delhi, the 83-year-old Congress leader had retired to Thiruvananthapuram in April 2022.

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