New Delhi: British Prime Minister David Cameron has said he would be “very sad” if India boycotted the London Olympics following the row over sponsorship of the event by Dow Chemicals, linked to the Bhopal Gas tragedy of 1984.
However, Cameron dubbed Dow Chemicals as a “reputable company” and said he did not want to see the Olympics used for industrial or political purposes.
Cameron said he did not see any problem with Dow’s association with the 2012 games and that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was completely within its right to decide whom it wanted as a sponsor.
“It would be a very sad day,” he told Karan Thapar on Devil’s Advocate, CNN-IBN when asked about a possible boycott by India of the London Olympics.
Cameron said he felt “huge sympathy” for those injured and killed in the Bhopal gas disaster but insisted boycotting the Olympics was not the “right action”.
“By all means, take up the issue with the International Olympics Committee (IOC) but a boycott will not be the right action. I will be very sad for Indian athletes, sad for India, Britain, of course. I will be desperately sad. But I cannot tell people to come. I have fulfilled all my responsibilities. I hope the Indian athletes will come,” he said.
Cameron said his responsibilities were to make sure that the Olympics were properly staged.
He said Britain and India were “old friends and old partners” and British athletes had enjoyed participating in the 2010 Commonwealth Games held in Delhi.
“Obviously, people have a difficulty with individual Olympics sponsors. I don’t happen to share that view in the way you put it. People who do (have a problem) may take it up with the IOC and they have to make their own decisions,” he said.
Read the excerpt of the interview here.