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 (GUJCOC) Act.

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

comments powered by Disqus