BJP questions govt`s `silence` on Anderson issue

The BJP Monday welcomed the GoM`s recommendation for a Rs 1,500 crore package for enhancing compensation for Bhopal gas tragedy victims.

New Delhi: The BJP Monday welcomed the GoM`s
recommendation for a Rs 1,500 crore package for enhancing
compensation for Bhopal gas tragedy victims but questioned the
"silence" of the government and Congress chief on the issue of
allowing safe passage to former UCC CEO Warren Anderson.

"The GoM report has disappointed the people of this
country. Though we are happy that this government has given
compensation to the victims, there is no mention of who helped
Anderson, killer of 25,000 people, flee the country," BJP
spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said.

He insisted that though then Madhya Pradesh chief
minister Arjun Singh and son of then Home Minister P V
Narasimha Rao had spoken on the issue, the Congress president
was still silent.

"Questions have been raised by the BJP on the role of
the then prime minister (Rajiv Gandhi) but the Congress
president has given no clarification till now," Hussain said.

He claimed that since Rajiv Gandhi was the prime
minister as well as minister of external affairs and both the
governments at the Centre and in Madhya Pradesh were led by
the Congress, the party should respond.

"BJP wants to know what was the role of the then
government. Why is the Congress president silent on such an
important issue... We want to know what was the deal made
(with the US) in helping Anderson flee," Hussain said.

Referring to a newspaper report today, the BJP MP
alleged that the Rajiv Gandhi government had allowed Anderson
to flee as a quid pro quo arrangement with US on giving a
presidential pardon to one Adil Shahryar.

Hussain claimed Adil`s father Muhammad Yunus was close
to the Gandhi family. Adil, who was given a federal sentence
of 35 years in prison for various crimes, was given a
presidential pardon by US president Ronald Reagan on June 12,
1985.

BJP welcomed the relief package finalised by the Group
of Ministers today but regretted that a "wrongdoer" (Anderson)
was allowed to go free.

Hussain claimed that the present BJP government in
Madhya Pradesh had already made a demand in 2008 for Rs 983
crore compensation to the victims.

He said the BJP wants the government to treat the
controversy around Bhopal gas tragedy as a "wake-up call" and
learn lessons from it while drafting the Civil Liability for
Nuclear Damages Bill.

"The government wants to fix liability at only Rs 500
crore while in the US it is Rs 60,000 crore," he said.

PTI

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