Anil Antony, the son of Congress leader and former Union Minister AK Antony, joined the BJP today.

Following the controversy surrounding Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BBC documentary on the 2002 Gujarat riots, Anil Antony, a Kerala-born leader of the Congress, left the party in January.

At a formal event today, BJP leaders Piyush Goyal and V Murlidharan, as well as the party’s Kerala unit leader K Surendran, welcomed the former Congressman to their party.

“Every Congress worker believes they are working for a family. But I believe I am working for the country,” Anil Antony told reporters today. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a very clear vision of putting India in a leading place in a multi-polar world,” he said.

Anil Antony said that the BBC documentary “prejudiced against India” before leaving the party. The documentary has been used as ammo by the Congress against PM Modi, who they charged of planning actions to reduce the political space available to the opposition.

“Anil Antony is a multi-faceted personality. I was very impressed when I saw the credentials of Anil Antony ji,” BJP leader Piyush Goyal told reporters today.

“His views reflect similar with those of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on sustainable development,” Mr Goyal added. “We have confidence he will continue to play a very active role and help grow the BJP’s footprint in southern India,” he said.

Anil Antony’s decision to join the BJP is a blow for the Congress because his father is a longtime and devoted member of the party who served as the Defense Minister. Anil Antony, according to the Congress, betrayed his father on this “day of betrayal,” they claimed.

Anil Antony stated during the official BJP gathering that he thought his decision to join was the right one.

“This is not about personalities, this is about difference of opinion and ideas. I strongly believe that I have taken the right step. My respect for my father will remain the same,” he said when reporters asked if he had consulted his father before making the move.

The BJP believes that Anil Antony would be able to increase his party’s influence in Kerala and win over more voters, particularly Christians. The BJP hasn’t yet successfully penetrated Kerala’s Leftist stronghold in order to seriously harm them.

Anil Antony received his MSc from Stanford University and his BTech from the Trivandrum College of Engineering.

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