We have no hand in selecting Dow: UK minister

Kolkata: British minister on Friday said that his country's government had no hand in selecting Dow Chemical Co. as a sponsor of the London Olympic Games.

"Selecting the sponsor is a prerogative of the Games organisers and the government has nothing to do with that. We have absolutely no hand in getting them as a sponsor," Gregory Barker, minister of state for energy and climate change (UK), said on the sidelines of a programme here.

He was in the city to participate in the 'Fiscal Instruments for Low Carbon Business', a programme organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Ever since the International Olympic Committee (IOC) inked a 10-year deal with Dow, there have been demonstrations and protests across India and abroad with many urging the Indian government to boycott the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Dow had bought the Union Carbide India Ltd. 16 years after a gas leak in its plant caused the world's worst industrial disaster in Bhopal Dec 3, 1984.

While the Indian government has written to the IOC asking it to drop ties with Dow, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has threatened to withdraw from the Games if no action is taken.

The 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy claimed 15,000 lives and affected millions of people. (IANS)