Centre convenes CMs’ meet to discuss NCTC on May 5
PTI NEW DELHI BOWING to pressure from its ally Trinamool Congress, the UPA government on Tuesday agreed to hold a separate meeting of all chief ministers on May 5 to discuss the issue of setting up National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC).
Even as charges fly thick and fast that his government was ignoring consultation with the States and undermining principles of federalism, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh instructed Home Minister P Chidambaram to write to all the Chief Ministers, informing them about the May 5 meeting that would be totally devoted to the issue of proposed NCTC.
Briefing journalists during a press conference of Group of Ministers (GoM) on Media, P Chidambaram, flanked by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal and Law Minister Salman Khursheed, said that the conference of chief ministers on internal security would be held as per schedule on April 16. He said that agenda for April 16 conference has already been sent to all the chief ministers.
He said that three chief ministers had requested the Prime Minister for a separate meeting to discuss NCTC. “Prime Minister asked me to write to all Chief Ministers that a meeting on NCTC will now be held separately on May 5,’’ he said.
Several CMs, including Chief Ministers of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee and her Tamil Nadu counterpart J Jayalalithaa, have reiterated that they wanted a separate meeting on the proposed counter-terror hub. The two are among several non- Congress CMs who have written to the PM criticising the Centre’s move to set up NCTC on the ground that it would violate the principles of federalism and encroach upon their turf. Other CMs who have slammed the proposed NCTC include Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik, Gujarat’s Narendra Modi and Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar.
Besides Chidambaram who has written to the CMs, allaying their fears about the proposed counter-terror hub, the Home Secretary R K Singh has also held consultations with the State police chiefs and chief secretaries to explain the Centre’s view point on NCTC.