The Congress on Sunday criticised Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for "dragging" Sonia Gandhi into the issue of Bhopal gas tragedy case, saying the BJP leader practiced "disruptive, divisive and a low level of politics".
"Narendra Modi has always practiced disruptive, divisive and a low level of politics and we reject his suggestions with contempt," Congress spokesperson Jayanti Natarajan told reporters when asked to react to Modi's comments at a BJP rally in Patna. Attacking the Congress chief over her "silence" on the Bhopal gas tragedy verdict, Modi today asked her to explain who was the 'Maut ka saudagar' (merchant of death).
Sonia Gandhi had during the campaign for the 2007 Gujarat Assembly polls called Modi a merchant of death for the 2002 riots in the state in the aftermath of the Godhra train carnage.
"This is the brand of intellectually, morally and politically bankrupt politics which is being practiced by Narendra Modi. There is absolutely no moral right on Modi's part for dragging in Sonia ji after 26 years of the Bhopal tragedy, when she was not in politics at the time he was talking about," she said, adding the BJP itself had a lot of explaining to do on the issue.
The Congress spokesperson said that Modi's brand of politics had brought him to a stage when his own alliance partner, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, refused to share platform with him, and the Gujarat Chief Minister goes to the extent of placing false advertisements in newspapers. "The BJP itself has a great deal to answer regarding why they Bhopal gas tragedy. What has the BJP done in the last 26 years in Bhopal?" she said.
Natarajan said her party had made it "absolutely clear" that the government had set up a Group of Ministers, who will once again go into the issue and that the party wanted all the facts to come out in the Bhopal tragedy episode. She also questioned the BJP on what it had done in the six years it was in power at the Centre.
"Let Modi please explain why did the BJP government -- including the present Shivraj Singh Chauhan government in Madhya Pradesh -- ever try (to get justice to the Bhopal victims), why did they reject the Centre's request to set up an empowered commission into the Bhopal incident to help the victims. Why does not Modi answer that? " she said.
She also asked why the BJP government accepted the legal opinion given by an American law firm, which said that extraditing Union Carbide chief Warren Anderson (to try in the Bhopal tragedy case) should not be done. "Why did the BJP government accept that (legal opinion)," she queried. Natarajan also asked why the NDA government in Bihar refuse to use the central funds for cleaning up the water table in the state. PTI