BJP minister says NDA govt 'apathetic' to Bhopal gas victims
In an embarrassment to BJP, its senior leader and Madhya Pradesh minister today said the Union government headed by his party was "totally apathetic" to the problems of the Bhopal gas victims and that Arjun Singh should not be blamed alone for the events after the disaster.bhopal Updated: Jun 15, 2010 19:50 IST
In an embarrassment to BJP, its senior leader and Madhya Pradesh minister on Tuesday said the Union government headed by his party was "totally apathetic" to the problems of the Bhopal gas victims and that Arjun Singh should not be blamed alone for the events after the disaster.
"It is no use blaming only Arjun Singh (the then chief minister) since the entire Congress and the Central Government at that time were equally responsible for all that happened including the release of Warren Anderson after the gas tragedy," Babulal Gaur told reporters here.
Gaur, minister for Gas Relief and Rehabilitation, said all governments at the Centre including those led by the BJP had been "totally apathetic" to the problems of the victims of the 1984 disaster.
"There is no point blaming only one party for the indifference shown by the Centre towards the Bhopal victims as all of them behaved in almost the same manner," Gaur said.
His statement comes at a time when the Central government and Congress party are facing stinging criticism for the manner in which then then government's handled the events after the gas disaster left over 15,000 dead.
He also said he has been invited to attend the Group of Ministers (GOM) meeting called by the Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on June 18.
The minister said he would raise various issues at the meeting, including getting the remaining 20 wards of Bhopal declared as gas-affected and for raising the compensation amount and making it at par with those given to victims in the US.
He said that the former GoM headed by Arjun Singh also accepted that the remaining wards should be declared as gas-affected as the spread of the toxic fumes was not confined to a particular ward as it had affected the entire city.