Achuthanandan demands Antony's resignation

Thiruvananthapuram: Veteran CPI-M leader and former Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan on Friday demanded resignation of Defense Minister A K Antony for his "failure" to take prompt action on the disclosure by Army Chief General V K Singh that he was offered a huge sum as bribe for clearing a truck deal.

"The inaction of Antony on such a serious issue amounted to treason. He has lost the moral right to continue in office," Achuthanandan told reporters here.

Antony's contention that he refrained from acting on the issue as the General had not given a written complaint was "absurd." As Defense Minister, he could have ordered an inquiry without waiting for a written complaint.

However, Antony chose to remain silent for nearly an year after Singh disclosed the bribe offer. A series of scams had surfaced during the UPA-II rule and Antony's department had also contributed to them, Achuthanandan alleged.

Going by the current round of allegations, there was reason to suspect that the ill-gotten money had gone to fund the Congress election campaigns, he alleged.

He termed as "ridiculous" the Congress' efforts to insulate Antony and said he could not wash off his hands saying that he had resigned from the Union ministry in the past when the sugar scandal broke out. Tendering resignation would do well for the image of Antony, he said.