Telugu Desam president N. Chandrababu Naidu on Friday accused the Union government of mortgaging people's interests in the Bhopal gas leak case and demanded stringent action against those responsible for the incident that killed 15,000 people.

In a statement here, he wanted justice rendered to victims “at least now.” He alleged that when the tragedy struck, the then Congress governments, both at the Centre and in Madhya Pradesh, deceived the victims.

Mr. Naidu termed ‘pathetic' the government's failure to produce Union Carbide chairman Warren Anderson in the court. It also committed a gross injustice to the victims by agreeing to a lesser compensation than what was demanded.

Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi was the standing counsel for Dow Chemicals, the company which bought Union Carbide, Mr. Naidu said, and this indicated the role of Congress leaders in the tragedy. While there was no change in their behaviour after the court verdict, their criticism of each other showed their lack of sincerity to the families of the victims.