The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday slammed the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government over the reconstituted Group of Ministers (GoM) to look into the Bhopal gas tragedy, calling it an "eyewash".
"The Group of Ministers for Bhopal gas tragedy is an eyewash. The government has woken up only due to the pressure from people and will go back to sleep again," BJP spokesperson Syed Shahnawaz Hussain told reporters in New Delhi.
The GoM is headed by Home Minister P Chidambaram and includes Law and Justice Minister M Veerappa Moily, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, Minister for Road Transport and Highways Kamal Nath, Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers M.K. Alagiri, Minister for Urban Development Jaipal Reddy, Science and Technology Minister Prithviraj Chauhan, and Minister of Housing and Tourism Kumari Selja.
On Monday, a Bhopal trial court held seven Union Carbide officials guilty of criminal negligence in the 1984 gas leak and sentenced them to two years' imprisonment. They were immediately granted bail.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs 100,000 on the seven convicted, including Keshub Mahindra, who then headed Union Carbide India Ltd (UCIL).
The gas leak in the pesticide plant in the intervening night of Dec 2-3, 1984, is widely regarded as one the deadliest industrial disasters of the world. Thousands were killed instantly and many later. Thousands still suffer from medical complications.