BJP seeks Congress apology for Anderson safe passage

New Delhi, June 19 (Calcutta Tube) Alleging that the Rajiv Gandhi government was ‘party’ to the safe passage given to then Union Carbide chief Warren Anderson after the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Saturday demanded an apology from the Congress.

The party referred to the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Arjun Singh’s statement that he had ‘no locus standi’ on the matter and blamed the Rajiv Gandhi government for Anderson’s safe passage.

‘By Arjun Singh saying that he had no locus standi, it is very much known that the Rajiv Gandhi government was party to Anderson’s safe passage. The Congress must give an apology to the nation,’ BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters here.

‘I have no locus standi on the issue,’ Arjun Singh, a senior Congress leader, told the Hindustan Times, virtually indicating it was the then central government’s decision to provide safe passage to Anderson.

Arjun Singh, who is a member of the Congress Working Committee, the party’s highest decision making body, also indicated that his autobiography would contain details of the Bhopal tragedy and the Anderson saga.

Arjun Singh was the Madhya Pradesh chief minister and Rajiv Gandhi was the prime minister when thousands were killed following the leak of poisonous gas from the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal Dec 2-3, 1984.

‘The people want to know why it (Congress) has deliberately misled the nation,’ Prasad added.

Anderson, who was briefly arrested in Bhopal Dec 7, 1984 when he came in the aftermath of the tragedy and then quickly released on bail, was later declared a proclaimed offender by an Indian court. He now lives in the US.

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