New Delhi: The crucial meeting of chief ministers, called by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the issue of the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), began in New Delhi on Saturday with sharp differences on the issue clearly visible.
Several states raised their objections to the NCTC. However, the Centre defended the anti-terror body, saying terrorists don’t recognise state boundaries.
While Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi raked up the Batla House encounter issue to justify his stand against the anti-terror body, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa accused the Home Ministry of using states like pawns on a chess board.
While Modi raked up the Batla House encounter, Jayalalithaa accused the Home Ministry of using states like pawns on a chess board.
Here is a look at who said what:
Union Home Minister P Chidambaram: Counter terrorism is a shared policy, that is what the Constitution says, that is the practical and prudent way forward.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh: It is not our government's intention to alter distribution of power between states and Centre. NCTC is to coordinate counter terror measures, and not to infringe on state powers.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi: Even years after the Batla House encounter, the Union government seems uncertain whether or not it is a genuine encounter between the terrorists and Delhi Police, which functions under the Ministry of Home Affairs…If the Union government is unable to even properly identify and recognise the enemy, how does it propose to conduct a decisive war against it?
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh: Clearly there should be some amendment in the operational part. Do not agree on the DG NCTC being given all the three powers – intelligence, operation, and operate civil services. There should be a national hostage policy to deal with situation like those happened in Odisha and Chhattisgarh. PM should take the initiative and call all the CMs and discuss on this issue.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa: Home Ministry treats states like pawns on a chess board… The NCTC, as has now been notified, should be kept in abeyance, as already advocated by me in my letter to the Hon'ble Prime Minister earlier, till the sub-committee of Chief Ministers gives its report. As a matter of fact, any discussion on NCTC is infructuous as long as the notification of NCTC is in force.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar: The NCTC violates the principle of federalism and the structure adopted for it suffers serious and basic flaws… One does not have to go far back in history to recall that eminent political leaders were branded as threats to national security and were put behind bars during the emergency of 1975-77. I am disturbed to see the sacrosanct principle of federalism being violated in course of Centre s anti-terrorism onslaught. The order issued to set up NCTC also suffers from several legal and procedural defects.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee: It is unfortunate that in utter disregard to these federal principles, the NCTC was set up by an executive order dated February 3, 2012 of the Union Home Ministry without adequate consultations with the States. These kinds of unilateral steps of the Union Government in matters which fall within the jurisdictions of the States only increase the trust-deficit between the Centre and States.
(With Additional Inputs from PTI)