Bhopal: In an embarrassment to BJP, its senior
leader and Madhya Pradesh Minister today said the Union
government headed by his party was "totally apathetic" to the
problems of the Bhopal gas victims and that Arjun Singh should
not be blamed alone for the events after the disaster.
"It is no use blaming only Arjun Singh (the then chief
minister) since the entire Congress and the Central Government
at that time were equally responsible for all that happened
including the release of Warren Anderson after the gas
tragedy," Babulal Gaur told reporters here.
Gaur, minister for Gas Relief and Rehabilitation, said
all governments at the Centre including those led by the BJP
had been "totally apathetic" to the problems of the victims of
the 1984 disaster.
"There is no point blaming only one party for the
indifference shown by the Centre towards the Bhopal victims as
all of them behaved in almost the same manner," Gaur said.
His statement comes at a time when the Central government
and Congress party are facing stinging criticism for the
manner in which then government`s handled the events
after the gas disaster left over 15,000 dead.
He also said he has been invited to attend the Group of
Ministers (GOM) meeting called by the Union Home Minister P
Chidambaram on June 18.
The minister said he would raise various issues at the
meeting, including getting the remaining 20 wards of Bhopal
declared as gas-affected and for raising the compensation
amount and making it at par with those given to victims in the
He said that the former GoM headed by Arjun Singh also
accepted that the remaining wards should be declared as
gas-affected as the spread of the toxic fumes was not confined
to a particular ward as it had affected the entire city.