Lok Sabha Polls 2024 | Face-off: Anto Antony vs Anil Antony

The two are contesting from Pathanamthitta.
Last Updated : 18 April 2024, 14:10 IST
Last Updated : 18 April 2024, 14:10 IST

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Anto Antony won from Pathanamthitta in 2009, 2014 and 2019. A graduate, Anto Antony started his political career in the Congress students wing, KSU. Later, he became the Congress district committee president in Kottayam. Anto Antony contested Lok Sabha polls from Kottayam in 2004 but was defeated by CPM's Suresh Kurup.

However, in 2009, he clinched a convincing victory by bagging more than 4 lakh votes.

Since then, he has been undefeated from the constituency. His recent remark "what involvement did Pakistan have in the Pulwama blast?" had put the Congress on defensive after both the BJP and the CPI(M) used it for political gains.

While the Congress-led UDF won from here in the 2019 LS polls with a margin of over 40,000 votes, in the subsequent Assembly election of 2021 all five seats in the district were won by the LDF.

The fight in Pathanamthitta is essentially triangular as the ruling CPI(M)-led LDF is pinning its hopes on former state finance minister T M Thomas Isaac, leveraging his political clout in the state and past cabinet experience in the previous two LDF governments.

The BJP has nominated its national secretary Anil K Antony, son of Congress stalwart and former Union minister A K Antony, from this Congress stronghold. His candidacy received a boost with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the constituency on March 15.

Anil, whose nomination has not gone well with many in the saffron party's local leadership, is confident of a win. "People have told me that of the three candidates contesting from here, I am the most suitable," he said.

A postgraduate from Stanford University, US, Anil left the Congress a day after he criticised the BBC for its documentary on Modi. There is a strong buzz whether Antony Senior will campaign against his son in the constituency.

Christian community constitutes around 40 per cent of the population of Pathanamthitta district. The importance given to the Christian community was also evident during the PM's recent party programme here when Modi reached out to them by recounting his meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican.

Keep up with the Lok Sabha 2024 elections here

Published 18 April 2024, 14:10 IST

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