New Delhi: The Congress on Thursday appeared to be
having no problem with senior leader Arjun Singh putting the
blame on the Union Home Ministry then headed by P V Narasimha
Rao for allowing safe passage to Union Carbide chief Warren
Anderson after the Bhopal tragedy.
"We believe it is important to look forward," party
spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan said when asked by reporters
how the AICC views Singh`s insinuation against Rao.
Natarajan, who was subjected to a volley of questions on
Singh`s statement, which also sought to give a clean chit to
then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, said that what the senior
leader has said "speaks for itself".
"I am not a spokesperson for Arjun Singh ji or Home
Ministry of that time or government of that time," was her
response when asked whether she endorses what Singh said.
"It is a statement made by Arjun Singh as a Rajya Sabha
member. I do not wish to comment on it," she added.
Asked whether Singh made the statement as a Congress
member, Natarajan said, "He spoke as an individual member of
the House and he is a member of Congress party."
Her response was "no comments" when asked whether the
party considers Singh a loyal soldier of the party.
She refused to speak on the merits of what Singh said
saying the party has "nothing further to add. What Arjun spoke
in Rajya Sabha is open...".
She said the party will not comment on any individual
member`s speech and everyone is free to draw his conclusions.
Natarajan said that it is important to look forward to
the issues of remediation and cleaning toxic waste. "Whatever
legal steps are required are being taken by the government."
She also made a strong pitch for the extradition of
"We certainly feel the issue of extradition must be
followed... we believe the issue should be taken up," she said
when asked whether the party feels the issue should be raised
during US President Barrack Obama`s visit to India in
Congress sources said Singh had made it known to the
government two days back that he would be speaking in the
Rajya Sabha on the Bhopal issue and just before his speech had
given a copy to a minister.