M A I N   N E W S

Mamata to skip CMs’ meet on internal security in Capital today
Girja Shankar Kaura/TNS

Mamata BanerjeeNew Delhi, April 15
Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has decided not to attend chief ministers’ meeting on internal security to be held here tomorrow. This is likely to create another embarrassing situation for the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre.

The meeting to be attended by chief ministers from across the country will be chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

A large number of chief ministers, including Mamata Banerjee, are opposed to the setting up of the National Centre for Counter Terrorism (NCTC), a pet project of the Home Ministry, and there are chances of the issue coming up for discussion at the meeting.

However, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, who is also opposed to the project, will be present at the meeting.

According to a government release, Jayalalithaa is scheduled to reach Delhi tomorrow morning and return the same day.

Jayalalithaa had also opposed the scheduling of the controversial NCTC as part of the April 16 meeting on internal security and had demanded that the issue be discussed separately.

Mamata has not only put up strong resistance to the Home Ministry’s pet project of setting up the NCTC but also rallied at least seven other non-Congress chief ministers against what they described as an “infringement on the states’ rights” and against the federal structure.

It was Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik who first wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh against the NCTC. Mamata followed it up a day later, virtually prompting Bihar and Tamil Nadu Chief Ministers-Nitish Kumar and Jayalalithaa-to raise the pitch.

The Centre had last week heeded the demand of these leaders, with Union Home Minister P Chidambaram writing to them saying the NCTC would be discussed at a separate meeting on May 5.

After the initial opposition from Patnaik and Mamata, the issue turned into a full-blown controversy with three BJP chief ministers Narendra Modi (Gujarat), Shivraj Singh Chouhan (Madhya Pradesh) and Prem Kumar Dhumal (Himachal Pradesh) joining the chorus against the agency along with NDA partner Parkash Singh Badal of Punjab.


DIDI’s grouse

n Mamata is opposed to the setting up of the NCTC and the issue is likely to come up during the meeting

n Her stand is that the NCTC move will be an infringement on the states’ rights and against the federal structure

n Jayalalithaa is also opposed to the setting up of the NCTC, but she has decided to attend the meeting





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