Consensus on NCTC eludes

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Manmohan Singh
New Delhi, May 5: UPA constituent and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee outright rejected the NCTC saying it was not required.

Banerjee said setting up of institutions like NCTC with the proposed powers of arrest and seizure upsets the federal structure of the country and strongly urged the central government to withdraw order on its formation as it was "not acceptable" to the states.

Accusing the Centre of behaving like "Viceroys of yore", Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi said constitution of NCTC is a conscious strategy to cast the Centre as an "omnipresent" ruler with states portrayed as dependent vassals.

Modi accused the Centre of changing the "well-defined and constitutionally mandated" boundaries of Centre-state relations and said there was a disturbing sequence of events in the recent past which revealed "centralists and autocratic mindset that militates against all canons of federalism".

Opposing the NCTC tooth and nail, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa accused the Centre of taking the country towards "autocracy" and demanded that a Sub-Committee of Chief Ministers be set up to go into the proposed body till when it should be kept in "abeyance".

Launching an all-round attack on the Home Ministry, she alleged that Tamil Nadu was being shown "utter contempt" by the Centre which did not even send a copy of the order setting up the NCTC.

Strongly opposing Centre's plan for setting up a NCTC, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said the proposal violates the principle of federalism and the structure adopted for it suffers from serious and basic flaws.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said no democratic country has given wide ranging powers to their secret intelligence agencies and similarly the NCTC should not be a part of the Intelligence Bureau.

PTI

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