M A I N   N E W S

Put NCTC move on hold, Mamata tells Manmohan
PC told to address states’ concerns: PM
Anita Katyal
Our Political Correspondent

New Delhi, February 22
After writing a strong protest letter, Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today told Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that the creation of the proposed anti-terror body should be put on hold till the Centre completes its consultation with the chief ministers who have raised objections on this issue.

Emerging from a meeting with the Prime Minister at his residence this evening, Mamata Banerjee told media persons that she had conveyed her concerns about the proposed National Counter Terrorism Centre which is to become operational from March 1 as she firmly believes it will disturb the federal structure of the country.

Urging the Centre to respect the rights of the states, the TMC chief said the executive order sanctioning the NCTC should be suspended.

Referring to the PM’s contention that the proposal for a joint intelligence force was actually cleared by the NDA regime in 2001, Mamata queried, “Where was the need to implement the recommendation of 2001 after 11 years.”

Mamata said she had also expressed her apprehension that the NCTC would have overarching powers to arrest anybody without the prior consent of a state government.

An official statement put out by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) after the meeting said the PM assured the Chief Minister that he had requested Home Minister P.Chidambaram to find ways to take the concerns of the state governments on board on the issue of the NCTC.

Mamata had raised strong objections to the creation of the NCTC in separate letters to the Prime Minister last week on the plea that it would violate the principles of federalism and infringe on the rights of state governments. Among those who opposed the anti-terror body included non-UPA CMs of Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Gujarat, Tripura, Uttarakhand and MP.

However, the Centre's troubles mounted when key allies - the Trinamool Congress and subsequently, the National Conference - also criticised the Centre's move.

This is not the first time that the UPA ally has joined hands with the Opposition in objecting to the government's policies. Mamata had supported the BJP in opposing the FDI in retail trade and had again sided with it in blocking the Lokpal Bill in the winter session of Parliament.

The Prime Minister had written to the chief ministers yesterday and assured them that the powers of state governments would not be encroached upon and that the Home Minister would consult them before the Centre formally notifies the NCTC on March 1.

In forming the NCTC, it is not the government's intent in any way to affect the basic features of the Constitutional provisions and allocation of powers between the states and the Union, the PM had underlined.





HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |