BJP to oppose N-Bill inside, outside Parliament

Against the backdrop of the judgement on the Bhopal gas tragedy, senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi today said the party would oppose the Nuclear Liability Bill both in Parliament and outside it.

Last Updated: Jun 10, 2010, 18:12 PM IST

New Delhi: Against the backdrop of the
judgement on the Bhopal gas tragedy, senior BJP leader Murli
Manohar Joshi today said the party would oppose the Nuclear
Liability Bill both in Parliament and outside it.

"We will oppose the Nuclear Bill in and outside
Parliament," Joshi told reporters, adding it was time to
rethink and reconsider the Bill in the interest of the people
of the country.

Referring to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Russia,
the BJP leader said the incident took place in a country where
the population density is scarce while in India such incidents
would be a disaster as the density of population here is one
of the highest in the world.

"It is necessary to look into the safety and security of
all such plants," he said and charged the United States with
not considering India as a developed country or even an
emerging power.

"If due to small gas leakage, thousands die and thousands
suffer from genetic disorders, lakhs would be affected if such
a disaster struck a nuclear facility," he said and demanded
that "polluter pays" principle should be the basis of any such
Bill.

Referring to the Bhopal gas disaster and Warren Anderson
fleeing the country, Joshi said the Congress government at
that time under "US pressure" allowed him to escape from
India.

"The Union Carbide had no equipment with security
features to check such leakage... Now facts have come that
Anderson knew what kind of leakage would take place and from
where. One person had died earlier due to this leakage," the
former Union Minister said.

Coming down heavily on Arjun Singh, Joshi said he was the
Chairman of the Group of Ministers looking after the
rehabilitation of the Bhopal gas victims but what has he
done on this front.

The BJP leader was also critical of the judiciary saying
that its interpretation of the law (Section 304-A) is being
questioned now and called for reforms in the judiciary.

"The Supreme Court should seriously consider the kind of
view taken then in this case," he said, adding there was a
need to give maximum possible sentence in such cases.

"If the executive and the judiciary neglect the interests
of the people, the faith in democratic institutions would come
down," the BJP leader said.

Asked what did the BJP do as it was in power in Madhya
Pradesh, Joshi said the party had been repeatedly demanding
the extradition of Anderson. To a query about the divergent
views emerging in the Congress on the issue, Joshi said
Congressmen are "guilty" as it was the ruling party then in
the state and the Centre.

"In order to conceal and camouflage their guilt, they
are saying this... Responsibility should be fixed and action
taken," he said.

On the role of the then Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister
Arjun Singh, Joshi said only Singh can respond why he is
silent. "Perhaps he does not have anything to say to protect
himself," he said.

PTI