The amendments moved by the Opposition parties on the controversial National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) were defeated in the Lok Sabha recently but the controversy is far from over with political parties including United Progressive Alliance (UPA) alliance up in arms against it.
The Congress party on Monday asked all political parties to help fight terrorism. Party spokesman Manish Tewari urged the state governments and the centre to co-operate in fighting terror forces quoting the attacks on Afghanistan capital by the Taliban and the jailbreak in Pakistan that led to the escape of 400 prisoners on Sunday.
However, non-Congress Chief Ministers and UPA ally Trinamool Congress are opposed to NCTC.
Chief Ministers Jayalalithaa, Narendra Modi, Naveen Patnaik met at Tamil Nadu house in Delhi on Monday after attending the Conference of Chief Ministers on Internal Security convened by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The CMs have opposed the Centre's move to set up NCTC and accused the UPA government of attempting to destroy the federal structure of the governance.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said that putting NCTC in place without consulting the states and trying to convince them later shows the Centre in bad light.
Even as he criticized the Centre for not consulting the states on NCTC, Gujarat Chief Minister Narebdra Modi said that the Congress party is trying to weaken the power of state police by considering changes to RPF Act and BSF Act.
The Trinamool Congress (TMC) that helped the UPA government defeat the recent motion moved by the opposition parties by abstaining from voting, expressed disappointment over NCTC. TMC supremo and Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee said that it is not happy with the anti-terror agency as it is against the federal structure of the country.
Chief Ministers of Odisha, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh too expressed their unhappiness and concern on NCTC.
While convening the Conference of Chief Ministers on Internal Security on Monday, Manmohan Singh said that the state government and the Centre should work together to fight terrorism.
"Serious internal security challenges remain. Threats from terrorism, left wing extremism, religious fundamentalism, and ethnic violence persist in our country. These challenges demand constant vigilance on our part. They need to be tackled firmly but with sensitivity," said the PM.
However, Manmohan Singh said that they would discuss the controversial National Counter Terrorism Centre on May 5 in a separate meeting, as suggested by some Chief Ministers.