You and I would pay for Bhopal mess, not Union Carbide

By Sanchit on Tuesday, June 22, 2010

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Taxpayer money misused by congressThe Group of Ministers (GoM) constituted to re-examine the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy has recommended that the Central Government dole out an additional compensation worth Rs 1,500 crore to the victims. Where will this Rs 1500 crore come from? Through additional taxes. In short, you and I would have to pay up for the crime that we have not committed. And what about Union Carbide Corporation – the company that was grossly negligent in running the plant at Bhopal despite repeated warnings? Not a penny.

And the GoM has another impossible wish - to bring the former chief of UCC - the 91 year old Warren Anderson - back to India after allowing him to flee more than 25 years ago. For what? To crucify him? To make him pay up? To settle old scores?

Instead of the tax payer being made to pay up, why not ask those who allowed Anderson to flee to cough up Rs 1500 crore? We have many on the list of suspects - Rajiv Gandhi, Narasimha Rao, the then Madhya Pradesh chief minister Arjun Singh, the CBI. Two of them are no more, so the Congress, not the Centre, should pay up. This because the decision to allow Anderson to go was taken at a personal level; it was NOT a government of India decision.

Not surprising, the GoM report has given a clean chit to former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi vis-a-vis the circumstances in which Anderson was allowed to leave the country after being arrested. The report cited the absence of any records either in the Ministry of External Affairs or the Home Ministry which could indicate that the former PM was in the know of things. If there was no evidence, the GoM could have summoned the then foreign secretary Rasgotra or questioned the then US envoy. That ofcourse would have caused a major embarrassment to the GoM and the Congress (read Sonia Gandhi).

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