Saturday, May 17, 2014

Parting Shot : Defence Minister Says,' MoD only Ministry Which Was Above Politics, Leaving Behind Armed Forces In Best Ever Condition/Position'

Today was farewell tea of outgoing Defence Minister AK Antony, for which I was invited directly by the Minister (not by his spokesperson). Antony conceded Congress' defeat in the 2014 LS polls, said writing was on the wall, they knew they would lose. 

Someone asked him about his best and worst moments, anything that he regretted, any unfinished task, he said he was largely satisfied.

Media farewell was his last job on his last day today, as meeting the media was the first thing he did on his first day, so as a gesture of completion of his tenure, he had to wind up, again with the media, today.

He said this was the only Ministry which was the least tensed, meaning everything was cordial, he had excellent relations with the armed forces, and the services among themselves, under him. He also said he kept MoD above politics, there was no politics , only in this Ministry, gave the example of how army did rescue and relief during disasters, without asking victims their religion (eg Assam).

'Armed forces are in superb condition, they are at their best ever', said Antony.

He ducked political questions. He'll devote more time to his State of Kerala. Being a Rajya Sabha MP, he'll be in Parliament. Said Congress will be back with a bang. I said Sir, will the country see an Antony wave in 2019, he said nothing.

He didnt show any remorse over Naval Chief DK Joshi's resignation, when someone asked if he regretted.

He also counted One rank one pension as his achievement, something that is only announced, not yet implemented, something which recently drew the ire of ex-servicemen.

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