Bhopal: The survivors of union carbide gas leak will campaign against BJP in the by-polls at Mungaoali and Kolaras later this month. The leaders, interacting with media on Thursday, said that they will focus on the false promises made by BJP leaders on the issue of compensation to Bhopal gas victims in impending by-polls.
Satinath Sarangi of Bhopal Group for Information and Action said that the Bhopal survivors’ organisation will not align with any political party and will use public support for campaigning. “The by-elections will be our first step in making long pending issues of the gas disaster part of the state and national elections this year and the next. In Mungaoali and Kolaras, we hope to provide critical edge to ensure defeat of BJP on both the seats,” said Rashida Be, president of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh.
“There is a popular saying those who tell lies get bitten by crows. Bhopalis will now be the crows biting the liar politicians in Mungaoali and Kolaras and everywhere else,” said Sarita Malaviya of Children Against Dow Carbide. Balkrishna Namdeo of Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pensionbhogee Sangharsh Morcha said, “BJP’s campaign in by-election focuses on promises made by the chief minister. Our strategy is to present facts on chief minister’s betrayal of seven-year old promise made on compensation to six lakhs victims of the disaster.”
The by-polls in Mungaoli and Kolaras assembly seats will be held on February 24, and the counting of votes would take place on February 28. The by-elections were necessitated following the death of the sitting Congress MLAs Mahendra Singh Kalukheda (from Mungaoli) and Ram Singh Yadav (Kolaras). Thirty-three years after the Bhopal gas tragedy, the survivors are still fighting for adequate compensation and proper medical treatment for ailments caused by the toxic leak.