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Chidambaram, Modi crossfire over GUJCOCA

Last Updated: Monday, August 17, 2009 - 23:11

New Delhi: Centre`s refusal to give assent
to the controversial anti-terror law of Gujarat triggered a
fresh war of words between Chief Minister Narendra Modi and
Home Minister P Chidambaram.

Speaking at the conference of chief ministers on
internal security, Modi today accused the Centre of playing
politics while dealing with terrorism and failed to understand
why it returned the anti-terror bill Gujarat Control of
Organised Crime (GUJCOC) Act proposed by his state.

Modi said the anti-terror bill which had been pending
with the Central government for a long time was returned to
the state assembly recently with the directions to delete
certain provisions.

"...I fail to understand why the Central government
should oppose provisions which are already part of the similar
Acts in Karnataka and Maharashtra," he said while speaking at
the Chief Minister`s conference on Internal Security here.

Speaking to reporters after the conference, Home
Minister P Chidambaram countered the arguments saying, "There
is no discrimination. I have already said. He has made his
position clear, I have made my position clear."

"I cannot recommend assent to a law which runs contrary
to the last expression of the mind of Parliament. I have to go
with the last expression of the minds of Parliament. Any law
conforms to that, we will certainly recommend that. Other
expression which do not run contrary to the last expression
with the minds of people you are welcome to add those
features," Chidambaram said.

"But, the matter in which Parliament expresses its mind
and if a state legislature explains diagonally opposite
views...I am bound by the will of Parliament. There is no
controversy in that," he told reporters.

Modi said during the conference that even the so-called
liberal democracies and proclaimed upholders of human rights
like USA, Canada, Australia etc have enacted laws having more
stringent provisions than the proposed GUJCOC Act.

"When it comes to dealing with terrorists, we must draw
a clear line between those who are on their side and those who
are on the side of society," he said referring to the Centre
rejecting his government`s Gujarat Control of Organised Crime

Making a strong case for the proposed law, Modi said the
need for such a legislation was not only for punishing the
"perpetrators of terrorism" but also to prevent educated youth
from being drawn into terrorist ideology.

Bureau Report

First Published: Monday, August 17, 2009 - 23:11

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