Antony clears the air on his Kerala statement
After saying he did not have the courage to bring more units of his department into Kerala, Defence Minister A.K. Antony's said Saturday what he meant was that in his home state, politics overtakes everything and that does not augur well.
"The media did a lot of interpretation on my statement I made at the BrahMos Aerospace Thiruvananthapuram Limited. What I meant was that if what is happening (trade union activities) at BrahMos happens at other defence units, it will not do any good for the state, for other similar units and for new units of my department," Antony said while inaugurating the Strategic Electronics Factory of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited here.
In the speech at BrahMos, he complimented the help extended to him by the then chief minister V.S.Achuthanandan and then state industries minister Elamaram Kareem.
The media went to town about this compliment, saying that Antony was upset with how his close friend Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and state Industries Minister P.K. Kunhalikutty were running the government here.
"I made the statement because my only objective is to see that development should come first in our state, and then politics. Today the state is kept alive by the diaspora here who work in the Middle East and West," Antony said.
He added: "The scene is fast changing there with the sons of the soil argument taking strong ground and if it happens then our people will have to return. If that happens and we do not have enough here to support all, mayhem would prevail. My concern is we have to step our state's industrialisation efforts."
He pointed out that in 2007 when the defence department decided to take over the ailing state-owned public sector Keltec to be converted into BrahMos, it was done because of numerous representations from various political parties and the then Left government.
"The thing that was being heard was that BrahMos is a private company, which is not true because the Indian government owns 50.5 percent shares and the Russian government 49.5 percent," added Antony.
He said the biggest problem in Kerala was that politics creeps into every sphere and plays spoilsport and debates rule the roost.
"Kerala is a debating society and it does not help in the development of the state," said Antony.