Objects to proposed amendments in letter to PM

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Friday told the Centre that the proposed amendments to the Border Security Forces Act, 1968, could also be discussed at the Chief Ministers' conference in New Delhi on the National Counter Terrorism Centre on May 5.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, she stated that the proposed changes to the BSF Act and the NCTC proposal “seem to have a similar motive”. Therefore, it would be appropriate if these amendments were also discussed at the same conference.

Earlier, the Prime Minister had asked the Union Home Minister to convene a separate meeting of Chief Ministers to discuss matters concerning the NCTC on May 5.

Ms. Jayalalithaa also requested that no further action on the Bill to amend the BSF Act be taken in the Rajya Sabha until the views of the Chief Ministers were heard and the way forward was finalised.

Objecting to the proposed amendments, she alleged that “they smack of a desire to smuggle in a mechanism inspired by the same goals as those behind the setting up of an operations division in the National Counter Terrorism Centre through the backdoor”.

She recalled that the conference of the Chief Ministers on Internal Security in New Delhi on April 16 ended on a note of optimism for the State governments with the Ministry of Home Affairs agreeing to step back in areas concerning public order and the police.

“I am sure that the meaningful discussion will be faithfully recorded and action taken in a manner consistent with the sentiments expressed by the Chief Ministers.”

Ms. Jayalalithaa said the item on amendments to the BSF Act, which was contained in the supplementary agenda notes, reached the Chief Ministers only on the day of the conference.

“Hence, my views expressed at the conference did not carry my State's response to this matter.”

Disapproval

The Chief Minister said, “I wish to categorically register my disapproval of the manner in which the subject was sought to be introduced as a supplementary agenda item.”

She said the members of the Rajya Sabha had, as early as March 29, requested that the subject be discussed at the conference of Chief Ministers.

With more than two weeks at their disposal, Ms. Jayalalithaa said that she was surprised that the Ministry of Home Affairs had proposed this as a supplementary agenda item.