Dow Chemicals’ donations to BJP is illegal: Congress

June 17th, 2008 - 8:02 am ICT by IANS  

Bhopal, June 16 (IANS) The Congress Monday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of violating the law of the land by accepting donations from a US multinational, Dow Chemicals, and urged the Election Commission to de-recognise the party and cancel its symbol. A gas leak from a Union Carbide plant here in 1984 killed at least 3,800 people immediately and affected around 50,000 more. Health and environmental effects of what is often called the world’s worst industrial disaster are continuing.

Dow Chemicals is an American firm that bought Union Carbide in 2001.

Media reports last week, quoting information released by the Election Commission of India under the Right to Information Act, said the BJP had received $2,500/Rs.100,000 in donations from Dow Chemicals. The party has not denied this.

The leader of opposition in the state assembly, Jamuna Devi led a delegation to the chief electoral officer’s office here Monday and submitted a memorandum demanding de-recognition of the BJP.

“Since the criminal case relating to the 1984 disaster is still pending in a Bhopal court, the BJP has cheated the people, besides violating the law - the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act - which forbids political parties from accepting donations from foreign countries and companies,” the Congress leader said.

She said the BJP was displaying “hypocrisy” towards the gas victims by collecting donations from Dow Chemicals.

“Its demand for compensation for gas victims is merely an eyewash,” she claimed.

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