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Modi corrupt and dictatorial leader: Mathew Antony


During a press conference at the Shunammite Inn in Dimapur, AICC national spokesperson and media coordinator for NER emphasized that corruption extends beyond financial matters alone. He highlighted the various manifestations of corruption, stressing the need to address the injustices faced by the people of India, including the Nagas, across different spheres such as economics, social dynamics, and politics

By Imna Longchar, TFM Nagaland Correspondent

All India Congress Committee (AICC) national spokesperson and media coordinator for North East Region (NER) Mathew Antony on Tuesday made a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and alleged that the latter is “personally corrupt” with a dream to stay in power with his “dictatorship” within the country.

During a press conference at the Shunammite Inn in Dimapur, Antony emphasized that corruption extends beyond financial matters alone. He highlighted the various manifestations of corruption, stressing the need to address the injustices faced by the people of India, including the Nagas, across different spheres such as economics, social dynamics, and politics. Antony underscored that since the announcement of the 18th Lok Sabha election, the Congress has persistently challenged the BJP-led government at the Centre over the past decade.

After extensive visits to Wokha, Kohima, and eventually arriving in Dimapur to gauge the pulse of the people ahead of the upcoming 18th Lok Sabha election on April 19 in Nagaland, the AICC national spokesperson reflected on his experiences. He expressed that traversing various districts within Nagaland had provided him with insights, leading him to believe that Modi and his government would not retain power in the next term. He cited several reasons, including deficiencies in governance.

Mathew Antony, who is a lawyer also, told the media persons that the country is in the last few months of the second term of prime minister Narendra Modi-led BJP government. Maintaining that it is the “most corrupt” government that would be known in the annals as the “most unjust government” that rolled out decades of injustices one after another to the people of India and the Northeast in particular.

Mathew Antony targeted Modi had “promised” two crores of employment opportunities per year to get elected and be in power However, unemployment in the country is at an all-time high. According to the latest data released, the employment rate amongst the graduates, post-graduates, and the PhDs are around 33.6 percent, and the rate of unemployment is at an all-time high of 44 percent within the age group of 20 to 24 years, he added.

He stated that during the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, 75 lakh jobs were provided per year till 2012, whereas the BJP-led NDA government can provide only 29 lakh jobs till 2022

The price rise in different domestic commodities, including that of skyrocketing price in LPG, he said. In 2012-14, the LPG price was around Rs 290 to Rs 400 per cylinder, the price for the same now is between Rs 900 to Rs 1,100 per cylinder.

He also highlighted other issues concerning the Northeastern states.

Social Injustice

According to AICC’s national spokesperson, and media coordinator for North East Region (NER), Mathew Antony came to a point that crimes against Scheduled Caste (ST), Scheduled Tribes (STs), and OBCs have increased by 48 per cent since the year 2022 and even though the BJP believes in “exclusivity” yet they throw insults to the lower caste and ignores them of all privileges whereas the Congress, he said has promised to do away with the caste census which would bring social, economic, and political justice to the SC, STs, and OBCs.,

Also mentioning that crimes against women have increased to the levels of 31,515 registered rape cases in the year 2022 itself which according to Antony was 86 rape cases per day, Antony said on this matter Narendra Modi and the entire BJP leaders had raised their voices concerning the safety of women, particularly about Nirbhaya rape case where the convict identified as Bilkis Banoo has been given relief by the BJP government.


Minority persecution 

Mathew Antony said that the “right extreme wings” in the North East have been aggressively escalating the minority persecution in the region while adding that the Assam Healing Prevention Act 2024 is the most advanced step intended against the Christian minorities in the Northeast region of India.

Citing that such kind of “law” in the hands of “biased” lawmakers giving them a “free hand” to torture the genuine faith practitioners should be condemned, Antony mentioned that 386 religious institutions were vandalized, more that 70,000 people being displaced while the FCRA approval was cancelled for many of the Christian institutions across the northeast.

He also alleged that the recent actions of the BJP and its state governments are shaking the confidence of the entire ST communities of their status and reservations which are frequently being challenged to be excluded due to them being a Christian minority while it was known that the very culture of respecting the diversity, ethnicity, and indigenous history of the tribals were well respected by the then UPA government and Congress from time of Independence by giving them special provisions through the 6th schedule of the Indian Constitution.

Antony further emphasized the need to raise the voice for the people of the Northeast, including the different tribes of Nagaland to preserve their ethnic identity and culture, which according to him, the Congress party could be trusted upon.


Manipur conflict; a warning to entire Northeast states 

The AICC national spokesperson, Mathew Antony, shared his thoughts on the months and yearlong ethnic conflict in Manipur which has directly or indirectly hampered the lives of many people including the loss of more than hundreds of lives.

He said that the tribals are fighting but the state has gone to the hands of insurgents where the state government has “no voice” or power left.

Stating that though the prime minister had time to negotiate peace in Ukraine, share his opinions on the Israel and Palestine issues, and travel across the world, and across the country for election campaigns, Antony lamented that Modi has no time for Manipur nor any interest to bring peace in the state. He questioned the prime minister whether he was blind while also putting another query on how long he would ignore the turmoil which has been going on for many months or he wanted the local tribals to fight amongst themselves and to let them live in distress.

Antony also went on to add that it was during the Congress regime in Manipur that the then prime minister late Manmohan Singh, visited Manipur and built trust and confidence amongst all stakeholders to build peace.


Political injustice

With regard to political injustice, Antony stated that the BJP butchered the independence of the judiciary, the election commission, the central investigative agencies, and the independence of the media.

He went on to say that the government has become so “fascist and dictatorial” in their approach where a non-cooperation with the government would end up with “revenge and vengeance” amounting to raids, jail terms, and much more punitive ways.

Stating that the elected governments and the democratic process in the country has been completely insulted and the constitution being completely ignored in the day-to-day running of the government, Mathew Antony laid another question on the basic numbers that could make a candidate win while asking why do they (BJP) even put up a candidate thereby trying to destroy the elected governments by sheer abuse of power.

“The recent Rajya Sabha elections are a visible example as well as the engineered split of Shiv Sena, NCP, and the coalition government in Maharashtra”, said Antony at the same time stated that the verdict of the Supreme Court calling the electoral bond “unconstitutional” is a glaring example of their ignorance of the constitution and the respect for democracy.

Mentioning that the freezing of the Congress accounts and constant attempts to destroy the opposition-led governments are only proving their “aggressive signs of dictatorship” and this is the time for the people of India to raise their voices and choose their representatives and the Congress party as their choice to have a balanced peaceful and a progressive country, the AICC national spokesperson underlined that the corruption and extortion schemes is accountable to Modi who has utilized the money to satisfy his corrupt ways to retain and stay in power.

Antony also alleged that the electoral bonds introduced by Modi is a Rs 8000 crore project which accordingly more corruption and extortion could be seen where companies are and were “blackmailed and threatened” to donate.

He also went on to add that the biggest betrayal by Modi and his party (BJP) was to take money from the manufacturers of inferior cough syrup, blood pressure medicines, and for COVID (Remdisivr) for their poor quality standards while also cheating and compromising on the health and life of millions of Indians who had consumed these inferior medicines.

Also highlighting the PM Cares fund, which according to Mathew Antony is another scam where the personal involvement in “scheming” this corruption, the PM relief fund which is under RTI and is a government-owned fund, he said it was not necessary to start a non-government owned public trust which is protected under RTI while mentioning that 60 percent of the funds around Rs 23,000 crores collected till 2022 were from the PSUs.

While the government amended the CSR rules to reveal minimum information on the CSR deployment for the PSUs in 2022, Antony addressed it as a “general knowledge” that national political parties are exempted from income tax.

Meanwhile, before the start of the press conference, a minute silence was observed for PCC secretary and former chairperson, NPCC communication department, Wezote Kreo, who expired on March 26 early morning in Dimapur.

NPCC in a condolence message stated the party was shocked and saddened at the sudden demise of Wezote Kreo, who was a devoted congressman till his last breath and left behind a legacy that would continue to enrich the party for years to come.

It further conveyed condolences to the bereaved family members and prayed for the eternal rest of the departed soul.

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