Kolkata: A day after opposing the proposed National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) along with six other chief ministers, Mamata Banerjee on Saturday skipped the inauguration ceremony of a National Security Guards (NSG) hub near here.
The NSG hub at Badu in North 24 Parganas district was inaugurated by Home Minister P Chidambaram, who had mooted the idea to set up an anti-terror intelligence hub, the NCTC.
Speaking on the occasion Chidambaram noted that national and internal security is a shared responsibility of the states and the Centre.
“The Centre has a responsibility to work with states to quell terror, any militancy or rebellion,” he added.
Seeking to address the concerns raised on the formation of the NCTC, the Home Minister said, “We worked with previous government in West Bengal to check Maoists and we are happy to work with the new government of the state.”
“Our approach to terror, Naxalism, insurgency is the same irrespective of the party ruling the state,” Chidambaram said, adding the situation in West Bengal under new government has improved considerably.
The development comes as another setback to the Congress-TMC alliance which has been going through a rough patch for quite some time.
Banerjee on Friday, along with her counterparts from Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha and Tamil Nadu, came out against a the setting up of NCTC from March 1, saying such a powerful body would infringe upon the rights of states.
In Andhra Pradesh, TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu also spoke out against the anti-terror body.
The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government tried to play down the issue, with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee saying a decision would be taken after studying the criticism.
Led by the most vocal Naveen Patnaik of Odisha, the chief ministers declared that they were against the NCTC because they had not been consulted before New Delhi notified it.
In separate letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, six of them complained that the proposed NCTC would infringe on the federal structure and the rights of state governments.
The powerful anti-terror agency, a brainchild of Chidambaram, will integrate and analyse inputs on terror threats in India. It becomes functional on March 1.
It allows Central government agencies to make arrests or searches in terrorism-hit states without seeking permission from their governments.
First Published: Saturday, February 18, 2012, 09:37