New Delhi: Charging Congress with being soft
on "foreigners" accused of committing crimes in India, BJP
today demanded an impartial probe into the circumstances which
led to the "escape" of then Union Carbide chief Warren
Anderson from the country after the Bhopal tragedy.
"BJP demands an impartial probe into the circumstances
which led to the escape of Anderson...such a major step to
allow him to leave the country could not have been taken
without the consent of late Rajiv Gandhi," BJP spokesperson
Prakash Javadekar told reporters here.
He said as Anderson reached Delhi on a Madhya Pradesh
government aircraft, then state Chief Minister Arjun Singh too
"cannot escape the responsibility".
"A state government plane cannot carry a passenger
without the permission of the CM and as per rules, a minister
or a Chief Secretary has to be on board when the aircraft is
in use," he said adding that the person who had accompanied
the Union Carbide chief should be named.
The BJP MP said the then Central government led by late
Rajiv Gandhi and the then Madhya Pradesh government of Arjun
Singh "are responsible for the discouraging court verdict on
Bhopal gas tragedy.
"It is now clear that the two Congress governments were
helping the accused than helping the victims of the incident
and (this) has exposed its anti-people policies. We demand
that Congress seeks an apology from the country for allowing
Anderson to escape".
Comparing the Bhopal gas tragedy with the Bofors case,
Javadekar alleged that like Bofors case accused Ottavio
Quattrocchi, the Centre gave a "safe passage" to Anderson.
"The Sonia Gandhi-led Congress is soft on foreigners who
commit crimes in India," he added.
He said India should mount fresh pressure on the United
States to extradite Anderson. "This time we should present our
case with a stronger political will," he said.
Meanwhile senior party leader Digvijay Singh demanded that Arjun Singh should give in writing the circumstances that led to letting Anderson go abroad scott free.
The BJP also questioned the reason for agreeing for a USD
300 million compensation in an out-of-court settlement when
initially the central government had demanded USD two billion
"Despite the court verdict, the US-based company has
refused to pay compensation. What steps are the government
taking?" he asked.
Javadekar also claimed Union Minister Kamal Nath had
supported investment bid by Dow Chemicals in India and wanted
to know why he did so. Dow now owns Union Carbide.
The BJP MP denied claims that the party had accepted Rs
one lakh as donation from Dow Chemicals which owns Union
Carbide. "We did not accept the money...it was returned. The
matter was addressed in yesterday`s briefing too," he said
when it was pointed out that an RTI reply has revealed that
BJP had accepted donation from the company.