PM promises consultation on NCTC

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday assured the Opposition that his government “will hold adequate” consultations with states before taking any further step towards making the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) operational.

Replying to debate on the motion of thanks to the President’s address, Singh informed the Lok Sabha that the issue will be discussed with the chief ministers at a meeting, to be held on internal security on April 16.

“Adequate and full consultations will take place before the next steps are taken (to make NCTC functional).

“There may be differences of opinion, but I am confident that consensus could be arrived through discussions and dialogue,” he said.

The issue has already been discussed with state chief secretaries and directors-general of police.

The chief ministers’ meeting on internal security on February 15 was postponed due to assembly elections, he said.

Important step

The prime minister described the setting up of the NCTC as an “important step” saying it was imperative to contain terrorism and left-wing extremism in the country to achieve the “growth objectives”.

Referring to the prevailing situation in Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand, Singh underlined that control over the left-wing extremism and control over terrorism are “absolute necessities if we are to achieve our growth objectives.”

The question of setting up the NCTC has been discussed at various fora since the report of the Group of Ministers appointed by the previous government and the recommendations of the Second Administrative Reforms Commission were submitted, the prime minister said.

“As has been pointed out by some members that a number of chief ministers have expressed their concern after the order was issued and I have replied to them that there will be consultations before the next steps are taken,” he said.

The amendments moved by the opposition, including the BJP, on the reference of the NCTC in president’s address were, later, put to voting in the Lower House.
The government won it by getting 226 votes in its favour out of a total 368 cast.

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