‘Centre, States must work together to set up national counter terrorism centre’

Even as the Centre remains undecided on setting up a national counter-terrorism centre in the wake of opposition from non-Congress Chief Ministers, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Tuesday said there was no question of bringing out a ‘white paper’ on internal security as demanded by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi at the recently Chief Ministers’ conference.

“Mr. Modi is a Chief Minister for nine years. He has been attending all conferences [on internal security] every year…I don’t think any white paper is required. He should understand the gravity of Naxalism [and terrorism]. He just gave political speech [at the meet where he criticised the Centre for mishandling internal security],” Mr. Shinde told journalists here. At the meet, Mr. Modi accused the UPA government of not taking the States into confidence and not sharing information when it came to matters of national security.

Both the Centre and the States should work together for setting up a national counter terrorism centre. There was also need to build a consensus on the issue before taking the matter to the Cabinet Committee on Security. “When such opposition is there, we will think over it and then decide. We need to take consensus on it. I have said it many a times that both the Centre and the States need to work together. We cannot do it alone.”

The Minister said he had made changes to the original draft and accepted the demands of some Chief Ministers opposed to the proposed body. Now the revised draft was given to all the Chief Ministers and a decision on the future course of action on the issue would be taken after examining all comments.

Chief Ministers Mamata Banerjee (West Bengal), Nitish Kumar (Bihar), Jayalalithaa (Tamil Nadu), Narendra Modi (Gujarat), Raman Singh (Chhattisgarh), Shivraj Singh Chouhan (Madhya Pradesh) and Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal opposed even a watered-down proposal at the conference.

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