Country`s security a shared responsibility: Centre

Under attack from non-Congress-ruled states over setting up of an anti-terror institution, P Chidambaram on Saturday sought to reach out to them.

Badu(WB)/Karnal(Har): Faced with strong
opposition from non-Congress Chief Ministers over setting up
of an anti-terror body, the Centre on Saturday reached out to them
saying security of the country is a shared responsibility and
without coordination among states the war against terror
cannot be won.

Inaugurating an NSG hub in Badu, about 50 kms from
Kolkata, Home Minister P Chidambaram said the Constitution
assigns law and order to the state government and also to the
Centre to protect the country against external aggression
or internal disturbance.

He said the founding fathers of the Constitution were
also wise when they made article 355. "That is why they made
national security, internal security a shared responsibility."

"I have a responsibility to work with the states to
quell terror, any militancy or rebellion," he said at the
function, which was skipped by West Bengal Chief Minister
Mamata Banerjee, who has opposed the formation of NCTC.

In Karnal, Union Home Secretary R K Singh said the Centre
has the duty to fight those who wage war against the nation
and this war can`t be won if states start working
"It is the duty of the Central government to deal with
terrorists and to coordinate with the states to tackle the
terrorists. If all states work independently and if there is
no coordination, can we win this fight ?," he said.

Singh said the section that has been talked about, was
part of that law (Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act) since

"It is the Central government`s responsibility to tackle
someone who wages war against the nation. That is in the Union
List (in the Constitution). We can`t fight terrorism in this
manner (with states opposing NCTC)," the Home Secretary said.

Banerjee has joined over half-a-dozen Chief Ministers of
non-Congress-ruled states in opposing the Centre`s plan to
create a National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC), claiming
that it violated the federal provisions of the Constitution
and was an attempt to usurp the states rights.
The others who protested included Naveen Patnaik
(Odisha), J Jayalalitha (Tamil Nadu), Narendra Modi (Gujarat),
Shivraj Singh Chauhan (Madhya Pradesh) and P K Dhumal
(Himachal Pradesh).

Chidambaram did not refer to the controversy over the
NCTC, nor did he make any comment on the Chief Ministers`
opposition to it.

Making a point that the Centre did not discriminate
between states on the basis of political parties that ruled
governments there, he said the Centre worked with the
previous government in West Bengal and "we are happy to work
with the new government."

He said the situation in Junglemahal created by the
naxalites has been substantially controlled by the new
government and the overall situation of the state has
considerably improved.

"I want to compliment the West Bengal government that
they have undertaken steps to considerably improve the
situation. I am sure there will be greater improvement in the
coming days," he said.

"The government of India is happy to work with the state
governments. We work with different political parties in
troubled states like Odissa, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh and West
Bengal and none of the states are ruled by the Congress",
Chidambaram said.

"Our approach to terrorism, naxalism and insurgency is
the same irrespective of the government ruling the states."