Congress upbeat as Narendra Modi mum on A K Antony

PM remains silent on AgustaWestland deal though Amit Shah criticised Antony on the issue.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A day after BJP president Amit Shah targeted the Congress and its senior leader A K Antony on Agusta Westland deal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday chose to remain silent on the issue and that too on a day when the Congressmen held a mass protest in Delhi against the attempt to scuttle democracy.

The Congressmen are now upbeat over Mr Modi’s silence on the issue saying that the attempts to target Mr Antony, their star campaigner, would not succeed. The BJP leadership is wary of directly attacking the former defence minister considering the Congress veteran’s clean image and wide acceptability in Kerala.

A section of BJP leaders believes that attacking Mr Antony could boomerang on the party and that it could prove counter-productive at this stage. Mr Antony is all set to launch his second and final leg of campaigning in the state soon.

The BJP central leadership had been repeatedly daring Mr Antony to name the Congress leaders allegedly involved in the scandal. The BJP had even reminded the former defence minister of his statement in March 2013 acknowledging corruption in the deal.

Mr Shah, who was in Kerala on Thursday, had repeatedly referred to the deal saying the people of Kerala would like Mr Antony to tell them on whose orders he changed the tender norms.

The BJP leaders had pointed out that bribe givers had been convicted and why the bribe-takers were silent and that Mr Antony should reveal the names. While Mr Antony had acknowledged corruption in Agusta Westland chopper deal, he had pointed out that the UPA Government had done no wrong.

The other day he hit back at the BJP saying; “don’t try to create doubts and you will not succeed. Don’t politicise it, or you will repent. If you have evidence take action.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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