Bhopal: Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Arjun Singh has finally broken his silence on the Bhopal gas leak tragedy claiming that he had no say in granting safe passage to former Union Carbide chief Warren Anderson.
Speaking to Hindustan Times Bhopal edition Resident Editor NK Singh, Singh said: "I have no locus standi on this issue."
His denial has virtually lobbed the ball back into the then Rajiv Gandhi government's court. Singh said he would come clean on the Bhopal gas leak tragedy and the Anderson saga in his tell-all autobiography.
Meanwhile, former prime minister Narisimha Rao's son PV Ranga Rao has spoken also out on the tragedy and defended his father's alleged involvement in allowing Anderson to leave India.
Rao said the Home Ministry led by his father in 1984 had a limited role to play and that the decision was taken in consultation with all ministries.
Rao was reacting to allegations made by former foreign secretary MK Rasgotra who told CNN-IBN that Narasimha Rao was involved in granting Anderson a safe passage just four days after the Bhopal gas tragedy.
"The observations made by him (Rasgotra) are unnecessary and in fact helped nobody and they are unfair. Great leaders after being dead, they are departed, to forget their positive contributions and talk about all this imaginary loopholes, is not fair," said Rao.
Anderson, who came to India soon after the Bhopal gas leak tragedy, was arrested by the Madhya Pradesh government but surprisingly granted bail and released on December 7, 1984. He left India for USA the same day never to return.
A Bhopal court had on January 1, 1992 issued a notice for Anderson's appearance before it. After Anderson failed to turn up, non-bailable arrest warrants were issued against him.
In 2003, India sent an extradition request for Anderson to the US Justice Department, which rejected it in 2004. The last request for extradition by the External Affairs Ministry was made in September 2008.