New Delhi: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee categorically told Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday that the NCTC must be put on hold and not be executed till consultations are on with the Chief Ministers who have raised concerns on the notification.
The Trinamool Congress chief met the PM at 5.30 pm at his official residence. Mincing no words she told the PM, “What was the need to implement the recommendation of 2001 after 11 years?”
“I raised the issue of the federal structure also. In the name of NCTC they can arrest anybody without state government’s consent. NCTC is contradictory of the federal structure,” Mamata told the waiting reporters.
She emphasised that she was concerned about terrorism too but said that the Centre and the state governments have to be friendly with each other and take care of each other.
The TMC chief also revealed that the PM had assured her that the Home Minister P Chidambaram would hold consultations with all the parties.
Mamata Banerjee along with a host of CMs had written to the government on the contentious NCTC issue and has been accused the UPA of taking a ‘unilateral’ decision on the matter. The CMs of Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Bihar, Gujarat, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Tripura and Uttarakhand opposed the creation of NCTC saying that it infringed on the states’ domain.
The Prime Minister had written to the CMs on Tuesday and said that the, “Primary purpose of NCTC is to coordinate counter-terrorism efforts across the country as the Intelligence Bureau (IB) has been doing so far. It is for this reason that the NCTC has been located within the IB and not as a separate organisation.”
Reassuring the state governments Manmohan Singh had written, “ In forming the NCTC (National Centre for Counter Terrorism), it is not the government`s intent in any way to affect the basic features of the Constitutional provisions and allocation of powers between the States and the Union.”
Singh wrote to Chief Ministers of Tripura, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Gujarat, West Bengal, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, who all had expressed apprehensions that the Centre`s decision to set up NCTC would erode the states` powers.
The NCTC was to be operational on March 1.
Mamata clarified that apart from the NCTC, she also held consultations with the PM on the issue of tripartite agreement on Gorkhaland Territorial Administration and the Farakka leakage issue.
Last Saturday, Banerjee had alleged that the Centre had kept secret the fact about the two damaged sluice gates on the Farakka Barrage, resulting in Bangladesh getting 82,801 cusecs of water as against 35,000 cusecs that it is supposed to get during the dry season.
Banerjee had also said that the tripartite agreement on GTA had already been signed, but its implementation was being delayed.