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Updated: June 14, 2010 17:20 IST

Congress owes apology to nation over Bhopal issue: Brinda

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Brinda Karat has also demanded a comprehensive and independent inquiry into the Bhopal gas tragedy. File photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy
The Hindu Brinda Karat has also demanded a comprehensive and independent inquiry into the Bhopal gas tragedy. File photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

Raising the heat on the Congress over the Bhopal gas issue, senior CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat on Monday demanded that the party tender an apology to the country for allegedly providing safe passage to Warren Anderson in the aftermath of the disaster.

“The Congress should tender an apology to the nation for giving safe passage to Warren Anderson,” Ms. Karat, a Rajya Sabha MP, said at a public rally here.

At a function in Bangalore, Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan on Monday said it was improper to let Anderson leave the country, but refused to blame any Congress leader at this stage.

Ms. Karat also demanded a comprehensive and independent inquiry in the matter saying the Group of Ministers (GoM) set up by the UPA government would not be able to probe the failure on the part of the government, judiciary and other agencies following the gas disaster in 1984.

“The UPA government has devised a tool in the form of GoM to put sensitive issues on the back burner,” Ms. Karat said.

Ms. Karat also accused the NDA regime of serving the interests of landlords by refusing to implement recommendations of the D. Bandyopadhyay Commission on land reforms in Bihar.

Addressing a rally taken out by the All India Kisan Sabha and All India Agricultural Workers Union, the CPI(M) politburo member alleged that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had announced that Bandyopadhyay Commission recommendations would not be implemented as he was under pressure from big landlords.

After becoming chief minister in 2005, Kumar had set up the Land Reforms Commission under D. Bandyopadhyay, credited as a key architect of land reforms in West Bengal. The commission submitted its report to the government in 2008.

Ms. Karat asked her party members to launch a movement demanding implementation of the commission’s recommendations.

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