Bhopal tragedy: Cong tells leaders to keep shut

Snubbing leaders like Digvijay Singh, Cong told them not to poke their nose in others` affairs.

New Delhi: Snubbing leaders like Digvijay Singh, who have spoken on the Bhopal gas issue, Congress on Tuesday virtually told them not to poke their nose in others` affairs.

"It is an established organisational norm that all the
persons, who are holding posts of responsibility in the party,
if they have to say something publicly or interact with media,
they should speak on only those subjects which come under the
areas of their responsibility," party general secretary
Janardan Dwivedi said.

Dwivedi, who is also chairman of the AICC media cell told
reporters that this was a "clear view and directive" of the

The AICC directive comes at a time when the Congress
is facing consistent attack by the Opposition and activists on
the Bhopal gas issue.

Soon after the court verdict was out, a number of
Congress leaders including AICC general secretary Digvijay
Singh, CWC member Satyavrat Chaturvedi, Congress veterans
Vasant Sathe and R K Dhawan spoke on the issue, with some of
them even contradicting each other, embarrassing the party.

Party sources also indicated that this rule applies not
only for Bhopal gas tragedy but also to all issues in which
some of the leaders voiced their individual opinions without
consulting the party.

The party`s statement assumes significance as Singh had
earlier publicly objected to the handling of the Naxal issue
by Home Minister P Chidambaram.

Incidentally, Singh, who is the AICC in-charge for Uttar
Pradesh, has invited displeasure for the second time, after
the party had disassociated itself from his comments on the
Naxal issue, which he had expressed in a newspaper article.

Party sources today said they regretted that some office
bearers make comments on subjects outside their purview and
talk less about the states and departments under their charge.

Dwivedi`s remarks were also a rebuff to Chaturvedi, who
had not only spoken out of turn on Bhopal gas issue but also
raked other controversies with his comments on Amar Singh and
NCP chief Sharad Pawar in the past. He was dropped from the
list of party spokespersons on both the occasions and was
asked not to brief the media.

Party sources say that this was applicable to ministers
also and both the party and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had
in the past advised them not to speak on others` subjects leading
to unnecessary controversies.