Friday, March 1, 2024

Mamata leads host of CMs in opposing NCTC


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New Delhi: Key UPA ally Mamata Banerjee today led a host of chief ministers in opposing NCTC, stating that there is no need for such a body while other non-Congress ruled states alleged it violates the federal structure and demanded drastic changes in the proposed law.

“NCTC will destroy the federal structure as it is contradictory to federal system. I urge the government to withdraw it,” Banerjee told reporters. She maintained that formation of NCTC – that too through an Executive Order without taking the states into confidence – has sent across the message that the Centre is trying to impose something on the states.

“Law and order is a state subject. Both the Centre and the states must work together,” she said. Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi insisted that almost all the big states had opposed the formation of NCTC and even those who endorsed it had certain reservations.

“I request the government not to make this a prestige issue… It should roll back NCTC immediately,” Modi said. He demanded a White Paper from the government on the efforts it was making in controlling arms-lending from across the border, hawala transfer of funds to help terrorists, cross-border terrorism, extradition of terrorists and the interception of communication of terrorists and Naxals. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa demanded that the Centre form a sub-committee of chief ministers to look into the NCTC issue. Her Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik endorsed the view and said Jayalalithaa should head the sub-committee.

“The NCTC, as has now been notified, should be kept in abeyance, as already advocated by me in my letter to the prime minister earlier, till the sub-committee of chief ministers gives its report,” Jayalalithaa said. “As a matter of fact, any discussion on NCTC is infructuous as long as the notification of NCTC is in force,” she said, demanding a complete overhaul of the law. Patnaik said NCTC should not be a part of the Intelligence Bureau and all actions should be part of joint operations. Even Congress leader and Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had certain reservations with the NCTC. “I support the NCTC but with special conditions. The Centre has to take state government into confidence. There have to be joint operations. Even with the army we have been stressing on joint operations,” he told reporters. He maintained that there is mistrust between the Centre and the states. “I have my experience. Even during the NDA times, they had doubts on me. I also had doubts. The NDA felt I was soft on ULFA. This mistrust (between Centre and states) should go,” Gogoi said. Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said the move to establish NCTC was against the federal structure. “We had a federal system but gradually the Centre has usurped all the powers and we are moving towards a unitary system,” Badal said. (PTI)


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