Without naming then Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Arjun Singh, Congress on Thursday said all questions that have been raised regarding former Union Carbide CEO Warren Anderson being allowed to leave the country must be answered properly.
“The party has always maintained that all questions that are raised in any such situation must be answered properly and responsibility should be fixed. The same norm applies to this case,” AICC General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi told reporters here.
With the circumstances under which Anderson was flown out in a state plane after the Bhopal gas disaster coming under scrutiny, a former Madhya Pradesh aviation official has said he received a call from then Chief Minister Arjun Singh’s office to arrange for his departure to Delhi.
Asked about the divergent views being expressed in party circles on the role of the then Congress governments in the state and the Centre, Mr. Dwivedi said, “there may be different personal views but so far as the party is concerned, this is the view.”
Party spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan also steered clear of the conflicting statements by its senior leaders over Anderson escaping punishment in Bhopal gas tragedy, only saying that the focus should be on providing relief and rehabilitation and ensuring justice.
“This is a very tragic and a very painful incident. Over 26 years, this has gone through various court hearings, various stages of investigation.
“Today we should concentrate upon ensuring relief and rehabilitation for those who still suffer from after—effects of the tragedy and also ensure that those have been convicted are brought to justice and such a terrible incident never again recurs in our country,” Ms. Natarajan said.
She also attacked the main Opposition BJP, saying that it has a lot to answer on this issue.
“It would be wise on the part of the BJP not to politicise the matter as they themselves have a great deal to answer for, including why the Madhya Pradesh BJP government refused the Centre’s request to set up a Bhopal Tragedy Commission and why they still failed to cooperate with the Centre in clearing the toxic waste that is still present in Bhopal,” Ms. Natarajan said.