CPI(M) today asked the government not to succumb to
"extra-constitutional pressures mounted by multinational companies"
in the matter of compensation for the victims of Bhopal gas
Party leader in Rajya Sabha Sitaram
Yechury told reporters that instead the government should put the
onus of Bhopal gas disaster on the US firm Dow Chemicals and ask it
to clean up the toxic waste from the accident site.
"Dow should be held responsible to clean up the toxic waste, besides
compensating the victims. If nothing, the government should emulate
the US where it has sought USD 20 billion fund from British
Petroleum for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill", he added.
A senior US Administration official had written to Planning
Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia not to persist on
Dow Chemical compensation issue so as to avoid any "chilling" in the
investment relationship between the two countries.
The Congress said the party or the
government would not respond to the reported letter by a US official
on Dow Chemicals.
"Whether its a breach of propriety on behalf of the US
Administration to be writing something which essentially falls
within the domain of corporate interest of a particular company, I
don't think Government of India or Congress party (should) be
answering that," Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari told reporters
"But as I said, Montek Singh Ahluwalia
has already spoken on the matter," he said, adding, "The government
was pursuing all remedies, including reopening of the judicial
decisions of 1989 and 1996 in this regard to maintain the interests
of the gas victims."