Now, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee joining her counterparts from other states in strongly opposing proposed National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) project.
At least four states, including the Congress-Trinamool Congress alliance-ruled West Bengal, have opposed Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s project, the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC).
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee recently wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh objecting to the powers of the anti-terror body that would become operational next month.
“It is difficult for the state government to accept such arbitrary exercise of power by the central government which have a bearing on the rights and privilege of the states. It appears to be an infringement on the powers of state governments in matters of investigation and maintenance of order,” she said in her letter.
The Trinamool chief’s letter comes after Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik wrote to the prime minister opposing, what he called were the sweeping powers to the body. He said several other chief ministers were also opposed to the Centre’s move.
“We have been discussing the matter with Mamata, Jaya (Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa) and Chandrababu Naidu (former Andhra Pradesh chief minister and TDP chief)… The UPA government is often in the habit of bypassing the democratic rights of states… You need a front which is both anti-corruption and secular,” Patnaik said.
Reiterating Trinamool Congress’s stand on the issue, party leader Sultan Ahmed, who also happens to be Union Minister of State, said, “The central government’s position on NCTC is not correct as it imposes the NCTC on the state governments.”
“This stand of the Centre is not in lines with the federal structure of our nation and also interferes with the interest of the states,” Ahmed added.
The BJP also came out in support of the chief ministers. The party has alleged that a broad political consensus has not been sought before the ministry of home affairs (MHA) took the decision on the NCTC.
BJP leader and Bihar’s Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi said, “All state governments are concerned with the fact that while the NDA government increased the autonomy of the states, the UPA government has been interfering in the states’ functions in all fields… The chief ministers of various states have been in touch. No chief minister, whether Jayalalithaa or Naveen Patnaik, wants the Centre’s unnecessary interference.”
NCTC doesn’t encroach on states’ territory: Centre
Responding to some states’ objections on the proposed National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) under the ministry of home affairs (MHA), the Centre on Friday said that it has no bearing on India’s federal structure.
Union Home Secretary R.K. Singh said the anti-terror body does not encroach on states’ territory. He said the sections, being opposed by the state, have been in the statute book for eight years.