Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who praised Home Minister P. Chidambaram earlier in the day had made a strong pitch for sanctioning the Bill, saying lack of adequate legal provisions was the "biggest" issue concerning internal security

A day after criticising the United Progressive Alliance government for failing to contain spiralling food prices, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday praised the efforts of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram in handling internal security issues.

At the conference of Chief Ministers on internal security, Mr. Modi praised Dr. Singh and Mr. Chidambaram for the Centre’s swift and positive action and greater cooperation with Gujarat in tackling security concerns.

He said that during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s regime, the Opposition-ruled States did not face any discrimination in the matter of internal security.

Due to the hostile attitude of “our neighbouring country, security is an important issue which needs to be taken seriously,” he added.

Mr. Modi also complimented the team of Mr. Chidambaram and Union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai on their approach to tackling terror.

“The response of the Home Minister and Home Secretary is swift and positive whenever there is a demand from a State,” he told journalists on the sidelines of the conference.

Replying to queries about the Gujarat Control of Organised Crime (GUJCOC) Bill, Mr. Modi said there were only two ways to deal with security related issues.

“Firstly, we need modern weapons and an increased strength of forces. We believe in democracy; we believe in human rights. So, it is also necessary to strengthen the laws.” He added that better laws would strengthen the democracy and protect human rights.

Later, while briefing journalists after the conference, Mr. Chidambaram said that his recommendation to the President not to give assent to the GUJCOC Bill — passed by the State Assembly for the fourth time on July 28 last year — was based on the last expression of its mind by Parliament.

The UPA government’s efforts to streamline the internal security machinery were also lauded by Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, who said that his State had been receiving all help from the Centre in dealing with the Maoist menace.

Mr. Singh added that there was greater cooperation between the State and the Centre in dealing with all security matters.