Among the CMs who are opposing the proposed NCTC include Jayalalithaa, Naveen Patnaik, Prakash Singh Badal, Akhilesh Yadav and Nitish Kumar. They have already reached the Vigyan Bhawan for the meeting that is sure to see some fiery arguments. [Read: What is NCTC? & Why Chief Ministers oppose NCTC?]
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee is doing some bargaining with the Centre citing the financial burden the state is facing. The Trinamool Congress chief commented in strong words that it was the primary role of the central government to provide funds and logistical support and that West Bengal deserved special dispensation in that regard. She alleges that the huge debt burden the state is facing was the result of the prolonged Left rule in the state.
Narendra Modi was, however, less kind in his words when he said, "It is high time we re-established a bond of confidence that will be our true shield against terror. I urge rollback of the NCTC... The government must come up with comprehensive action plan to fight terror."
Karnataka CM, Sadananda Gowda also expressed sternly on the setting up of the NCTC and said, "The NCTC intrudes into states' powers. We are apprehensive that officers of the NCTC could first arrest, search and seize and simply inform local police officers stating that they were authorised to do so by the Director of the NCTC. This should be avoided."
In a bid to allay the fears of the CMs, the central government has already agreed to dilute some of its discretionary powers.
The Highlights of the meeting currently underway are:
* NCTC is not a state versus Centre issue: Prime Minister Manomohan Singh.
* Terrorism is one of the most potent threat to internal security, says PM.
* NCTC to coordinate counter terrorism measures throughout the country: PM.
* NCTC will supplement the counter-terrorism capabilities of states not supplant them, says PM.
* For operationalisation of NCTC, it is fairly important to have broad consensus on its powers and functions: PM.
* NCTC will be an important pillar in new security architecture: Home Minister P Chidambaram.
A Home Ministry spokesperson commented ahead of the crucial meeting, "It (the meeting) will discuss issues related to strengthening of counter terrorism capabilities and the NCTC. Various concerns raised by the state governments on the NCTC will also be taken up and allayed at the day-long deliberations."
The Centre is also facing the ire of Chief Ministers of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA)-ruled states. They have raised concerns on the Centre's move to create a one-stop anti-terror intelligence agency that has powers to conduct operations and make arrests anywhere in the country.
It is understood that the government had already circulated a note to Chief Ministers saying it had decided to have state police chiefs as ex-officio members of the standing council of the NCTC, laying down a six-point SOP agenda according to which the power to arrest, search and seize will be shared with heads of the anti-terrorism squads of states.