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Collusion between MP Govt. and some in Centre Anderson flee: Sathe

Thursday, June 10, 2010 05:14:08 PM, Agencies

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New Delhi: Former Union Minister Vasant Sathe on Thursday said there was a "collusion" between the Madhya Pradesh government and "some people" in the Centre which allowed former Union Carbide CEO Warren Anderson to escape justice in the Bhopal gas tragedy.

Sathe, former minister for Information and Broadcasting and Chemicals and Fertilisers, said, "There was a collusion between the state government and some people in the central government, probably in the Home Ministry" during the Narasimha Rao government.

Asked who could be responsible for the escape of Anderson, Sathe said he could not guess the names of the people but claimed only the then Chief Minister Arjun Singh could reply to queries on this issue.

"I cannot guess the names of the people...The collector (Moti Singh) says he got orders from the Chief Secretary...Arjun Singh ji knows all the facts. The best person for the media to direct these queries would be Arjun Singh ji," the octogenarian leader said.

He said that instead of doing an exercise in vacuum, the media should direct questions to Singh to get authentic information on the Anderson issue.

"After all, he (Anderson) was given the state government plane from Bhopal to Delhi. Obviously there were some people (in Bhopal and Delhi who were responsible)" Sathe said.

Asked whether the image of the Congress has taken a beating following the revelations about Anderson fleeing the country, Sathe replied in the negative.

"I cannot blame the party. I don't think Congress as a party was responsible," he added.

On Thursday, Sathe had said there were "rogue" elements in the government in 1984 who helped Anderson flee the country after the Bhopal tragedy.

Meanwhile, CWC member Satyavrat Chaturvedi blamed the then Madhya Pradesh government for the episode and said the central government could not be held responsible.

"The incident took place in Bhopal. The arrest was made by the state government and bail was given to Anderson there the same day. He was sent to Delhi by a state government plane and from there he went to America. No, where do we see the role of the central government? In this we only see the role of the state government," he said.

Congress had on Wednesday said that those being held responsible should explain.

A senior party leader, who declined to be identified, said these matters needed to be clarified by those against whom questions are being raised.

Arjun Singh had met party president Sonia Gandhi soon after the verdict and has since not made any comment on the issue.



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