Chennai: Asserting that the proposed NCTC
will be a "non-starter" without states` involvement, Tamil
Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Monday asked Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh to convene a meeting of chief ministers as the
March 12 meeting of officials will "not serve the purpose".
In a letter to Singh, she said, "The proposed National
Counter Terrorism Centre will be a non-starter without the
involvement of the state governments. All state governments
are concerned about proper maintenance of public peace and
order and hence pay maximum attention to it."
Holding that the constitution of NCTC was an attack on
the federal structure of the Constitutional framework, she
said Centre should have initiated a consultation process
through a formal communication, "particularly when state
Governments and Union Home Ministry have to work together in a
coordinated fashion to eliminate the scourge of terrorism".
She said that in such a situation, the March 12 meeting
convened by the Union Home Secretary will not suffice.
"The fight against terrorism is a national priority. A
meeting chaired by the Union Home Secretary will not serve the
purpose, since larger issues concerning the Constitution are
involved and particularly when many Chief Ministers have
expressed their concerns to you directly."
"I request you to convene a meeting with the chief
ministers of all the states at your level after circulating a
background paper that will speak about the roles of the Centre
and the states and offer insights as to how they can work
together in this national effort," she added.
Recalling her letters written to him on NCTC, she,
however, said she was `surprised` that instead of a response
from him, Union Home Ministry had sent a communication to the
state Chief Secretary asking him to attend the March 12
meeting along with the Home Secretary and the DGP.
The chief minister, however, said she had instructed the
officials to attend the meeting.
Jayalalithaa had recently joined a chorus of chief
ministers, including Naveen Patnaik (Odisha) and Mamata
Banerjee (West Bengal) to oppose the NCTC on grounds that it
was an attack on the federal structure and that the states
were not consulted.