Tuesday, 21 February 2012

PM tells states PC will address NCTC concerns

PM tells states PC will address NCTC concerns
Clean Media Correspondent
New Delhi, Feb 21 (CMC) With the proposed National Counter Terrorism Centre kicking up a political storm, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today stepped in to allay the concerns of a host of non-Congress Chief Ministers — including those of his allies — that the anti-terror body infringed on the rights of states.

Singh wrote back to seven chief ministers assuring them that he has asked Home Minister P Chidambaram to address their concerns “suitably.”

“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 Prime Minister said. He said the primary purpose of the proposed body was to “coordinate counter-terrorism efforts throughout the country” as the Intelligence Bureau (IB) has been doing so far.

“It is for this reason that the NCTC has been located within the IB and not as a separate organization,” he wrote to the chief ministers of Tripura, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Gujarat, West Bengal, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh. Noting their apprehensions about the manner in which the NCTC will function, he said he was “asking the Home Minister to address them suitably, in consultation with you and other Chief Ministers.”

Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs headed by BJP’s Venkaiah Naidu decided to ask the Home Ministry to put on hold its decision to set up the NCTC till a consensus is evolved on the contentious issue. This after several members of the committee at its meeting today attacked the Centre for not consulting the states and infringing on their rights and demanded that it its setting up be put in abeyance.

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