In the Month of May, 2016 – Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitely said the theory that the AgustaWestland was blacklisted during the UPA rule and it was lifted by NDA was a “figment of imagination”. Jaitley disputed the statement of former Defence Minister A K Antony that the UPA regime had blacklisted AgustaWestland after the bribe issue come out on the chopper deal.
So basically, the self-confessed “poor as a church mouse” “Saint” A K Antony was lying through his teeth. Too bad, Jaitley called his bluff. In the information Era, all it takes is a simple search to separate truth from Propaganda. Congress has thrived long and strong through a network of propagandists, Media and pet intellectuals, but now they are being cornered in almost every case. First Ishrat Jahan, then Samjhauta Express, AgustaWestland and now even the Malegaon Blast.
Coming back to A K Antony – He in my honest opinion is THE weakest defense minister India ever had. A K Antony has also been the longest serving defense minister of India. Worst and longest isn’t exactly a great combination, aptly summarized by Manohar Parrikar who in his first media appearance after becoming DM, said “we are in a mess, I can’t spell it out.” A K Antony oversaw the stalling of countless deals like S-70B, MMRCA, AH-64E, CH-47F, M777 artillery, Avro replacement etc. He in a way jeopardized the national security. A criminal negligence of sorts.
A K Antony’s career is infected with examples that testify my claim of him being the Weakest DM ever. Seems like yesterday, when 5 Indian soldiers were killed along the LoC and Antony claimed “20 heavily-armed terrorists dressed in Pakistan army uniforms killed our soldiers”. When he was criticized by media and mocked on Social media, he changed his statement to “Specialist troop of Pakistan did the ghastly attack”. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops encroached 19 km into Indian Territory across the line of actual control (LAC) during his regime. They went ahead and set up tents in the Daulat Beg Oldi sector. Everyone expected the defense minister to come up with some warnings or even an advice to the Chinese, he chose to follow the then Prime Minister’s policy (silence on important matters) instead. Chinese stayed there for three weeks and then moved away. He was the first one to celebrate the victory of diplomacy though.
The tussle between Gen VK Singh and A K Antony reached no amicable solution and Singh was denied a graceful exit. The public shaming of a decorated officer was repeated again in the INS Sindhuratna episode. A naval mishap took place which claimed the lives of two officers. The Sindhuratna episode saw the exit of DK Joshi. Antony quietly pinned all blames on Joshi and he stayed away from taking any moral responsibilities.
General V K Singh claimed that he was offered a bribe of 14 Crore to approve the TATRA Army Truck deal. He notified Antony and Antony did nothing. Over 100 IAF accidents took place in his tenure. He was never held accountable. In fact, the trust between the Army and Government reached an all-time low in his tenure, when he started hallucinating about a Military Coup in India.
A K Antony was a seasoned politician and he played the honesty card very well. His tenure saw incursions, attacks, cease fire violations, scams, shaming and exit of military chiefs, deaths of officers and imaginary Coups but he was never held accountable.
He never showed an iota of guilt or compassion.
A K Antony maybe a liar, but he was the most perfect husband. Back in 2012, The Airport Authority of India (AAI) purchased eight paintings of Elizabeth Antony, wife of A K Antony, for a mindboggling sum of Rs. 28 Crores. The funny thing is that she officially debuted in the field of arts with the paintings that AAI Purchased. She never had any formal training in painting and had no exhibitions to her acclaim. A K Antony is “Honest”, “Saint”, “Poor as a Church Mouse”. Sure! Why not.