April 3rd, 2012
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PM to discuss NCTC with CM’s

mamata-banerjeeNew Delhi: Conceding to the demands of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the government agreed to discuss the National Counter-Terrorism Centre issue separately with the Chief Ministers at Delhi on May 5, 2012. The Prime Minister also agreed that no decision in this regard would be taken before the scheduled meeting of the chief ministers on May 05.

The decision on allowing Foreign Direct investment (FDI) in the retail sector will also be taken after consultation with the chief ministers on May 5. Earlier the centre had called a meeting of Chief Ministers on April 16, 2012 on internal security, in which the NCTC was listed among 10 issues on the agenda.

Ms Banerjee had earlier written to the Prime Minister pointing out that she had received a letter from the Union Home Ministry on the Chief Ministers’ conference on April 16, 2012 where NCTC was among the 10 items on the agenda.

The Trinamool chief had stressed that in such a case the focus of the NCTC, which was a very sensitive issue, would be lost and had suggested it should be the only matter of discussion at the meeting so that all States could express their views properly and other issues could be discussed subsequently. “It is not good to impose or bulldoze in a federal structure,” she had said.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Tamil Nadu chief Minister had also asked the centre to put on hold the formation of NCTC which is to be steamrolled into existence soon, as she believes the centre should primarily considers the sentiments of the Chief Ministers before taking any action . She had demanded a separate CMs meeting to exclusively discuss NCTC. According to her the “views of various Chief Ministers will have to be given due consideration and a purposeful discussion on counter terrorism should be made possible.”

The National Counter Terrorism Centre or NCTC was scheduled to be launched on March 1 but was put on hold in the wake of staunch opposition from Chief Ministers of over 10 states who say they fear that the powers given to the agency would infringe on the rights of the states and hence threaten the country’s federal structure. Besides Mamataand Jayalalithaa, chief ministers of Gujarat, Bihar, Odisha and other states have also opposed the formation of NCTC and written to the Prime Minister.



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