New Delhi: Union Home Minister P Chidambaram is likely to visit West Bengal on Saturday to inaugurate a National Security Guards (NSG) hub. The visit comes amidst the controversy over Chidambaram's brainchild, National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), an anti-terror intelligence hub.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is among other chief ministers who have opposed the idea, saying it would infringe upon the powers of the state.
The UPA faced a fresh crisis on Friday after eight chief ministers came out against a proposed powerful counter-terror intelligence hub, saying it infringed on the rights of states.
The Congress, which leads the UPA, tried to play down the issue after ally and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee joined three chief ministers of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh as well as Janata Dal-United's Nitish Kumar in Bihar, Biju Janata Dal's Naveen Patnaik in Orissa, AIADMK's J Jayalalithaa in Tamil Nadu, and Parkash Singh Badal in Punjab.
Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N Chandrababu Naidu also spoke out against the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC).
Led by the most vocal Patnaik, the chief ministers declared that they were against the NCTC because they had not been consulted before New Delhi notified it.
In separate letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, six of them complained that the proposed NCTC would infringe on the federal structure and the rights of state governments.
Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, the chief troubleshooter of the government, said in West Bengal that a decision would be taken after studying the criticism.
The powerful anti-terror agency, a brainchild of home minister P Chidambaram, will integrate and analyse inputs on terror threats in India. It becomes functional March 1.
(With additional information from IANS)