New Delhi: The issue of federalism generated heat in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday with friends and foes of Congress making common cause to target the Centre over the NCTC and a key UPA ally Trinamool Congress raising pitch for its immediate withdrawal.
The marathon discussion on the Motion of Thanks to the President for her Address saw main Opposition BJP as also SP, which is extending support to UPA from outside, attacking the government on the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) issue.
Kalyan Banerjee (Trinamool Congress), whose party is at loggerheads with the government on several issues, utilized the occasion to demand a substantial financial package for debt-ridden West Bengal, an issue which has remained a sore
thumb with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
The attack on the issue of NCTC came in spite of Home Minister P Chidambaram earlier in the day asserting that the move was an "absolute necessity" and not an attack on the federal structure.
The Congress, on the other hand, attacked the BJP for its "double talk" and said its "true colours" have been exposed in the states it has been ruling.
Rajnath Singh, who opened the innings on behalf of the BJP, said instead of developing a consensus, the UPA government at the Centre was adopting an attitude of "confrontation" with the states.
"The mentality of the government is such that it is not even ready to accept the constructive support of opposition parties," Singh said.
Shailendra Kumar (SP) said his party was opposed to NCTC. Anant Geete (Shiv Sena) wondered as to why terrorists like Afzal Guru and Ajmal Kasab have not been punished by the UPA government.