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Cong denies Rajiv's role in Anderson's escape

Jun 11, 2010 11:28 PM IST Politics Politics
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New Delhi: Many troubling questions over the Bhopal gas leak tragedy remain unanswered even though 26 years have passed since the deadly methyl isocyanate gas killed over 15,000 people in Madhya Pradesh's capital.

The Congress party on Friday came out to defend former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi saying that he was not responsible for allowing former Union Carbide CEO Warren Anderson to fly out of Bhopal just days after the gas leak.

Since the verdict in the Bhopal gas leak tragedy came on Monday the question 'who let Warren Anderson out of India' has come to haunt the Congress.

Everyday there are new voices and new theories about how Anderson escaped. Old time Gandhi loyalist RK Dhawan says no orders went from Rajiv Gandhi to release Anderson on the night of December 7, 1984.

"Incoming and outgoing calls were made by me. Right from 8 in the morning till night no such call came from America or for that matter from any body, neither any such call was made by Rajiv Gandhi," claims Dhawan.

The Congress party also says Rajiv has nothing to do with Anderson case.

"There is no question of the Rajiv Gandhi government being involved," says Congress spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan.

So who ordered Anderson's release? The blame has once again come back on the then Madhya Pradesh chief minister Arjun Singh. But PC Alexander, the then principal secretary to Rajiv Gandhi, says there was communication between the chief minister and the prime minister.

"Arjun Singh at that meeting was something unusual because chief ministers do not attend such meetings," says Alexander.

Many unanswered questions still remain and the man everyone wants to hear now is Arjun Singh. But he is silent for now.

A deeply entangled Congress is banking on the reconstituted Group of Ministers to bail itself out of this mess. But interestingly the mandate of the Group of Ministers is to offer relief and rehabilitation of the Bhopal gas victims.