New Delhi: In the backdrop of the abduction of two Italian tourists by Maoists in Odisha, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday cited the need for National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) to tackle extremism.
"Nation needs to be united on terrorism. Abduction of two Italians in Odisha is a grim reminder of Left-wing extremism. The abduction is an indication that our security has a threat if we are not united to fight against extremism," he said in the Rajya Sabha while replying to the President's Address.
He said that the Opposition's charge that the Centre was trying to destroy the federal structure of the country by operationalising NCTC was not correct. "Nothing will be done that will infringe on the federal structure of Constitution," he said.
The Opposition demanded assurance from the Prime Minister that without the consensus from the chief ministers, the NCTC will not go forward.
BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu said that his party was not satisfied with the Prime Minister's assurance on NCTC. To this, Congress leader Pawan Kumar Bansal tried to give reasons by saying, "The Prime Minister has said that he will consult and build consensus on NCTC."
"There will be consultations with the chief ministers and the meeting has been fixed for April 16 with the Prime Minister," Bansal said.
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said, "The concern of state is that law and order is a state subject. There has been no consultations between satte and centre. There is already National Investigating Agecy (NIA). The issue is when law and order takes a terrorism issue."
CPM MP Sitaram Yechuri also said that the Prime Minister should assure Parliament that chief ministers will be taken on board on NCTC. "The state governments should be taken on board."
Earlier in his speech, the Prime Minister said that all the economies of the world were in the midst of uncertainity and India needed to take strong steps to reach growth rate of 9 per cent.
"We can get back to growth at 9 per cent if we take certain stong steps. We need to focus on development gaps in certain sections of the society. Since the presentation of the budget, the Finance Minister has elaborated on the further challenges our economy faces," he said.
"All the economies of the world are in the midst of uncertainity. Idustralised economies are in fragile condition. There has been too much liqudity, which has put pressure on the economy. There has been pressure on our balance. Balance of payment deficit on current accout cannot be tolerated year after year. I appeal all members to rise to the occassion and help the government," he said.