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Updated: February 22, 2012 02:22 IST

NCTC won’t take away States’ powers: Manmohan

  • Vinay Kumar
Comment (20)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
Within days of non-Congress Chief Ministers flaying the Centre's move to set up a counter-terror hub, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has written to seven of them. File photo
The Hindu
Within days of non-Congress Chief Ministers flaying the Centre's move to set up a counter-terror hub, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has written to seven of them. File photo

‘I have asked Home Minister to allay fears of Chief Ministers’

Within days of non-Congress Chief Ministers flaying the Centre's move to set up a counter-terror hub, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wrote to seven of them, explaining that the primary purpose of the National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC), located within the Intelligence Bureau (IB), was to coordinate counter-terrorism efforts throughout the country.

Seeking to allay the apprehensions of the Chief Ministers on encroachment of the States' rights and turf, Dr. Singh on Tuesday assured them that in forming the NCTC, it was not the Centre's “intent in any way to affect the basic features of the constitutional provisions and allocation of powers between the States and the Union.”

Apart from the UPA ally, Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who wrote to Dr. Singh on February 14, asking him to review and withdraw the February 3 NCTC order, Naveen Patnaik from Odisha, Nitish Kumar from Bihar and Jayalalithaa from Tamil Nadu joined the anti-NCTC chorus.

The Chief Ministers apprehended that the NCTC, to be made operational from March 1, will infringe upon the powers and rights of the States. The decision should have been taken only after adequate consultation and with the consent of the State governments.

Pointing out that the primary purpose of the NCTC was to coordinate counter-terrorism efforts throughout the country, as the IB had been doing so far, the Prime Minister stressed that it was for “this reason that the NCTC has been located within the IB and not as a separate organisation.”

However, noting concerns of the Chief Ministers about the manner in which the NCTC would function, Dr. Singh said he had asked Home Minister P. Chidambaram to address them suitably in consultation with them.

The Prime Minister said the idea of such a centre had been under consideration since the Group of Ministers report of 2001 suggested a joint task force on intelligence and the report was accepted by the government of the day. “It was also suggested by the Second Administrative Reforms Commission that a National Centre for Counter-Terrorism be established,” he said in the letter.

(With inputs from B. Muralidhar Reddy)

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NCTC is a long awaited measure that should have beeen taken long
ago,although the states are rite when they say nctc goes against the
federal system of our country,because it will give them police like
powers to arrest with out the state interfering.But i think we all
know atleast can guess the real reason for the states to go against it
is something else it is their fear that they will not be in control
and nctc will have hands long enough to reach even their collars.
the situation in the parliament is such that its very likely
that in near future we will require visas and passports to travel in
our own nation.God help i dont live to see that day.

from:  Aditya Biswas
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 20:15 IST

Opposing NCTC is a foolish act. Just politcis in it. Nothing else. Its become a craze to capture the attention of national media .

Think what would have been the comments here had the BJP in Power implemented NCTC and congress CM's opposing it .

Lets call a spade as a spade and not be biased in our comments. Good initaitive of any party in power should be welcomed.

from:  Ajay
Posted on: Feb 22, 2012 at 17:30 IST

We live in a country where daily news of bombing or some other form of
terrorism is commonplace.Had there been a sustainable level of peace,
law and order , efficient mechanism to combat terrorist activities ,
organisation such as NCTC would never be required. The states The
Bengal ( Bihar, W. Bengal & Odisha) and Tamilnadu are crying over
states' rights being usurped in the process is very much much anti-
nation. The center is for the whole nation, its not state specific.
Even if NCTC was gobbling up state rights then it is for a reason ,
terrorism is no state or city issue, its a national one.However, as
explained by the PM it is not the case. Also, one should ask for
power, rights only when he/she is ready to take up full responsibility
towards his/her duties. We often fail enforcing any good decision,
legislation owing to bottlenecks created by federal nature causing the
problem to become too sore to heal.Why not give the organisation a
chance , the results should decide its fate.

from:  Swati Pathak
Posted on: Feb 22, 2012 at 11:59 IST

Country's safety should be the topmost priority of all political parties. Terrorism has been a menace and will continue to be unless appropriate measures are taken. However there should be no unilateral decision on the part of the centre in such crucial matter, the voice of the states should be taken into account. Unless we reach a consensus there will be loophole in the implementation that will make NCTC land in the dustbin.

from:  Hejang Misao
Posted on: Feb 22, 2012 at 10:56 IST

Country's security is primary concern. And this is achieved by
strengthening local bodies. Centralizing will only delay and
complicate matters. Besides in the constitution, law and order comes
under the state. @Jaya Prakash ... A govt. that could not stop Mumbai blasts, delhi blasts ... after 26/11 suddenly becomes pops out NCTC without
consulting anybody. Its quite obvious what the intentions of this
govt. is. You, sir, may be able to think out of party lines, but
this govt. is certainly not doing so. Please dont go by appearances.
Our country did that mistake in 2008 elections and this is where we
stand today.

from:  Vijay
Posted on: Feb 22, 2012 at 10:21 IST

On one hand Manmohan says that, "NCTC won't take away State's powers" (as if the States will allow the Center to take away their vested power), and on the other hand, Rahul's having been accused of breaching EC's Rules, and having to face punishment, and the Congress instead of apologizing for the act committed (as a true leader will always stand with the head held high), the Party is going to the High Court petitioning the case. Simply put, the Central Government does not want to take away the power of the States, but itself assumes that GOI, and it's representatives can do no wrong, and have all the power to right the wrongs committed. When will this Goverment start reflecting on it's character, and moral code? I am sure the answer is never. Congress is the disease that this Country has to get rid of. Hypocricy is in their blood. I don't see it any other way.

from:  Sunit Jang Bahadur
Posted on: Feb 22, 2012 at 10:04 IST

NCTC is really good idea ,since it is the election time this decision might be taken to gain political wealth.

from:  raja
Posted on: Feb 22, 2012 at 09:47 IST

NCTC if within IB is irrelevant. Multiple agencies create confusion and fixing responsibilities becomes difficult. After Mumbai episode we created NIA and now NCTC. Will there be an end. If at all we need a seperate team for counter-terrorism we can form a seperate team inside IB. This is just a political stunt.

from:  Roshan Raja
Posted on: Feb 22, 2012 at 08:18 IST

The constitution of NCTC, though a laudable one, is highly sensitive in nature and should not be rushed through, as it is being done now. Any such measure with which the State Governments, as a part of the Federal structure, are vitally concerned, will find acceptance only after a thorough and detailed discussion in a spirit of give and take. This is all the more so as the majority of States are headed by Opposition parties who, judging by reports, are totally opposed to this measure and demand its immediate withdrawal. All this is time-consuming calling for consummate skill and patience on the part of the Home Minister in dealing with the parties concerned. There is however no denying the fact that this is a national issue involving the security of the nation and should be treated as one above party politics.

from:  T.S.SREENIvasan
Posted on: Feb 22, 2012 at 05:23 IST

Since our individual states have proved time and again that they are more parochial than national in spirit and desire, it is essential
that the Central Govt must have overriding powers, to ensure that national unity and amity is not disturbed. And for this, whatever changes are needed including the formation of many Central organisations, with adequately covered powers, to implement what is good for the whole nation is really a must and must be supported by all nationally minded people and parties.

from:  Rajaram.T
Posted on: Feb 22, 2012 at 01:40 IST

I think NCTC is a brilliant idea to counter anti national activities
happening on Indian soil. For all the hoopla on NCTC withering the
state's rights, I believe there should be state level provision for an
intelligence body to rise beyond petty regional politics in the best
interests of the Indian nation. I hope the opposition leaves politics
out of this grave matter of combating terrorist activities on our soil.

from:  Raghav Mishra
Posted on: Feb 22, 2012 at 00:11 IST

Let us agree that creation of a body like NCTC is as important as
maintaining the Federal structure of the country. It is time for center
to discuss this with states and pave the way for NCTC without, of
course, infringing into the powers of state. I believe that all
political parties should act together and come strong against the
burgeoning terrorism by forgetting the political vendetta and putting
ahead the interest and security of the nation.

from:  Rajesh Choudhary
Posted on: Feb 21, 2012 at 23:23 IST

I fail to understand why some of the opposition leaders as well as
some Chief Ministers are harping about federalism of this
country,when the Indian Constitution does not even mention about
federalism.Ours is the Union of States,not a federation of states.We
have only one constitution for the entire country which unites the
states and envisages to keep the country as one integral unit.
Nevertheless,for the sake of harmony within the country,especially
when different political parties have divergent political agenda ,
it is advisable that consultations are conducted with all parties so
as to arrive at a consensus. I understand that the Prime Minister is
doing exactly the same now. But I am afraid,consensus is a far cry
away. Even if, an attempt had been made earlier before hatching the
idea of NCTC, there would not have been a consensus.

from:  Raju Varghese
Posted on: Feb 21, 2012 at 21:37 IST

The idea of setting up an NCTC is highly appreciable. The central
government might have the authority under constitution as defended by
Mr. Chindambaram. But consulting the states when such a system is being
put in place is an "practice of good governance". It could have fetched the government some better ideas and the necessary political support. Its unfortunate that the Home Ministry overlooked this issue.

from:  Pravimal Abhishek
Posted on: Feb 21, 2012 at 21:16 IST

The NCTC is actually a required organization. Though our CM's fear of
something like the notion of being scared of President rule and losing
control. It is only fear on the part of the state CM's of losing
complete authority with the country plagued by terrorist attacks on
regular basis, it is an organization long overdue. I don't think
National Security is a constitutionally wrong, what is constitutionally wrong is the fact the CM's are worried about their own power being possibly reduced by civilians, instead of looking at the benefit of the country at large. It is indeed sad that CM's are being narrow-minded.

from:  Kalyan Singh
Posted on: Feb 21, 2012 at 21:16 IST

NCTC is the brain child of the center. It should have been consulted on
a state/center forum before application to safe guard the federal
system of Indian constitution. The idea is appreciable but can be
misused otherwise to gain politically.

from:  sunil kumar
Posted on: Feb 21, 2012 at 20:15 IST

'PM reaches out to anti-NCTC CMs' The heading saying it all. Let him explain the stand of the Centre. But at no stage the centre should yield to the demands or pressures. I don't support any political party or political views here, my logic is simple any move or act by the politicians or the political Parties to serve their political purpose or their personal interest must be fought strongly. Country comes first! if the country is safe, states will be safe too! PLease, let us forget poltitics for a moment! atleast for a moment!! think and plan for the welfare of the country!!! PLEASE.......

from:  Jaya Prakash
Posted on: Feb 21, 2012 at 20:13 IST

Governance of a large country like India where a federal system exists needs competence in the field more than what the Manmohan Singh government is exhibiting. As of now, mired as it is in various scams and caught on the wrong foot on various issues, the UPA government seems to be groping in the dark as regards proper governance. Each Minister seems to be on his or her own in regard to taking major policy decisions. The fact that the government is distancing itself from major policy decisions taken by A.Raja proves this. The NCTC issue shows up the true nature of the decision making mechanisms in the government. This is a serious matter which the Prime Minister ought to be worried about in the interest of the nation.

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: Feb 21, 2012 at 20:02 IST

NCTC should be vetted by Supreme court's constitutional bench whether it is within the constitution or violates the same. Then only discussions should be initiated in parliament.

from:  K. Sugavanam
Posted on: Feb 21, 2012 at 19:56 IST

NCTC is projected as the brainchild of Mr.Chidambaram,but it is an adoptation of FBI's idea in the early nineteen seventies.Many such things attracted him and implimented flopped woefully,like the amnesty for blackmoney,which helped only vested interests.

from:  K.Sugavanam
Posted on: Feb 21, 2012 at 19:52 IST
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