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Not willing to follow in the Pope’s footsteps, Defense Minister “Saint” Antony stubbornly refused to resign over the AugustaWestland chopper deal. In a press conference he said, “We will face the parliament. I am saddened by the controversy,” while habitually grinning and flashing his fine set of 32 choppers.
Refusing to even take moral responsibility for the AugustaWestland deal, AK Antony asserted that the Defense ministry wasn’t a part of the Holy See of Janpath. “In fact even I don’t want to see anything; I’m a proverbial Gandhian monkey.” AK Antony maintained studied silence on which Gandhi he was referring to. Defending his handling of the ministry, Mr Antony said, “I’m not a helicopter boss who is expected to constantly hover over my Air Chief Marshals. My saintly soul is not attuned to constantly monitoring and chopping off corrupt chopper deals. I just take a helicopter view of what’s happening in the ministry, I don’t delve into the details.”
When questions were raised in the press conference about whether this would tarnish his Mr Clean image, Mr Antony asserted, “Cleanliness is next to godliness and not popeliness. Only popes resign. As Mr Clean I will not resign.” Antony countered the allegation of being a bad catholic boy by asserting that he was an atheist saint. “I was raised a Syrian Catholic and not Roman Catholic,” he insisted. Pointing a finger at many of the former popes, Mr Antony asked how many scandals the Catholic Church had buried without any of the popes claiming moral responsibility and resigning. In many ways, he suggested he was following the papal path. As penance, Mr Antony suggested that he would just go to the confession room of the holy high command of 10 Janpath. “I will be asked to recite 10 Hail
Marys Rahuls and 20 Our Fathers Madams and will be conveniently spared.”
Meanwhile, our honest Prime Minister decided to wallop the bad catholic boy by excluding him from the meeting with PM David Cameron. Cameron in the meantime studiously avoided running into Antony for the fear that his Indian-visit would be helicopter-jacked.
Giving his reaction to the PM’s move, Mr Antony said, “I am disappointed that the PM being an economist does not understand the concept of ‘helicopter money’ which is necessary to provide stimulus to our sagging economy. I’m sure that at least D Subbarao or ‘Helicopter Ben’ Bernanke will understand the contribution of my ministry.”
On the question of launching an investigation into the deal, Mr Antony flashed a school-boyish grin and said, “Let the Italians do all the hard work of investigating. We’ll just helicopter drop our CBI officials in Milan to get more information. Chop-chop Italy, get to work.”
Mr Antony ended the press conference by making the Sign of the Cross, chanting, “In the name of the mother and of the son and of the Holy Family. Amen.” When asked about which “family” he was referring to, the Defense Minister was again conspicuously silent. Speculation is rife about the nationality of the family – Indian, Italian or Italian-Indian.