United by their opposition to the proposed National Counter Terrorism Centre, Chief Ministers of Gujarat and Odisha, Narendra Modi and Navin Patnaik, on Monday met their Tamil Nadu counterpart Jayalalithaa here to mount pressure against the Centre's move.
Mr. Modi and Mr. Patnaik met Ms. Jayalalithaa at the Tamil Nadu House separately after attending the Chief Ministers' Conference on Internal Security convened by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Mr. Patnaik was the first to meet Ms. Jayalalithaa and the two were closeted for over 25 minutes. After the meeting, Mr.Patnaik refused to divulge what transpired at the meeting, merely saying it was a courtesy call as Ms.Jayallithaa is an “old family friend of my father.”
Soon after, Mr. Modi met Ms. Jayalalithaa for 40 minutes and refused to speak to the waiting media. Ms. Jayalalithaa also did not speak to the media.
All the three leaders have been against the setting up of NCTC and have expressed their displeasure in public several times.
There was no official word on Ms. Jayalalithaa's meetings with Mr. Modi and Mr. Patnaik. It is understood that the leaders discussed a joint strategy to face the Centre. The meeting assumes significance as non-Congress governments in states are opposing the creation of the counter terrorism centre maintaining that it infringes upon the States' rights in a federal set up.
Jayalalithaa warned against an “emerging pattern” wherein the State's powers are diminshed by the Centre through passage of bills. — PTI