BJP asks Congress to come clean on Anderson issue

Last Updated: Saturday, June 12, 2010 - 15:27

Patna: With the Congress on the backfoot, the BJP on Saturday asked it to come clean on its role in allegedly providing safe passage to then Union Carbide chief Warren Anderson after the Bhopal gas disaster in 1984 and demanded that it apologise to the nation.

"Why is the Congress silent on the issue? Why is Arjun Singh silent? Why has the country not been informed about what happened? The silence is eloquent," BJP chief Nitin Gadkari said in his inaugural address at the two-day party national
executive here.

Terming Bhopal tragedy as a saga of "treachery, backstabbing and betrayal", he said the government should move the Supreme Court and "aggressively" seek review of its
judgement.

A retired CBI official BR Lall had stated earlier that the then Congress government at the Centre had tried to protect the Union Carbide management. There are reports
alleging that Arjun Singh, then chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, helped Anderson flee at the behest of then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.

"Anderson was booked under Section 304 IPC (culpable
homicide not amounting to murder).... Government helped the
main culprit in the accident in which 20,000 people died.

Congress must apologise to the nation," BJP spokesperson Ravi
Shankar Prasad quoted Gadkari as saying.

He termed Congress-led UPA as "Union-Carbide
Protection Agency". Gadkari raised the Bhopal gas tragedy case
to argue against the government`s move to pass the Civil
Liability for Nuclear Damages Bill in Parliament.

"After the recent verdict on Bhopal gas tragedy, the
danger of capping the liability through such legislation has
become more pronounced," Gadkari said.

The BJP president also maintained that the
compensation given and the delay in the process was a "cruel
joke".

"The Bhopal gas verdict is a cruel joke by our
criminal justice system. BJP demands that the government
should again knock the doors of the Supreme Court and
aggressively seek review of its judgement... Bhopal tragedy is
the saga of treachery, back-stabbing and betrayal," he said.

"No words are powerful enough to condemn all those who
mishandled this issue," the BJP chief said.

"The Congress owes an explanation to the nation and
victims of Bhopal Gas Tragedy as to who instructed that
Anderson be allowed to leave the country," senior BJP leader
Syed Shahnawaz Hussain told reporters on the sidelines of
the meet.

He demanded that the Congress disclose the
individual`s name who had ordered the release of Anderson from
police custody in Bhopal on December 7, 1984 and facilitated
his travel to Delhi by a state plane.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, June 12, 2010 - 15:27

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