The US-India CEOs Forum, attended by a ministerial delegation from India headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, started on Tuesday in Washington with one notable absentee: Dow Chemical Chairman Andrew Liveris.
Liveris was originally expected to attend that meet. In an emailed response, Dow spokes-man Scot Wheeler said “because of a prior engagement” Liveris was unable to be present.
Dow Chemicals bought Union Carbide, the company whose gas leak at Bhopal caused the world’s worst industrial disaster, in 2001. However, Dow has repeatedly maintained it has no liability in the Bhopal case.
But following the recent verdict on the Bhopal tragedy, Mukherjee was expected to bring up the matter when he met Liveris. There was widespread speculation that Liveris had stayed away to avoid any such likely embarrassment.
HT was the first newspaper to report Mukherjee and Liveris were likely to meet at the summit. Wheeler insisted Liveris staying away had nothing to do with the renewed attention given to the Bhopal gas tragedy.