Trinamool demands rollback of NCTC

Trinamool demands rollback of NCTC

Chidambaram argues for anti-terror body

Trinamool demands rollback of NCTC

The Trinamool Congress on Tuesday raised its pitch against establishing the National Counter Terrorism Centre in the Lok Sabha and demanded its immediate rollback, despite assertions by Home Minister P Chidambaram that such a facility was an “absolute necessity” to fight terror and it would not go against the principles of federalism.

The TMC – a constituent of the ruling Congress-led United Progressive Alliance – found support from the opposition with the Bharatiya Janata Party also accusing Centre of trying to flout the principle of federalism and showing contempt towards the State Governments. The Samajwadi Party, which has just been voted to power in Uttar Pradesh, too joined the BJP and TMC to point out that the NCTC would infringe upon the rights of the State Governments.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee recently joined her non-Congress counterparts, including the ones in BJP-ruled states, to oppose the Centre’s move to set up the NCTC, alleging that it went against the principle of federalism.

Chidambaram, who is believed to be the brain behind the NCTC, told the Lok Sabha on Tuesday that the Centre would hold “adequate and full” consultations with the states on the issue. “We can debate the matter, but I am quite clear in my mind that the NCTC or a similar centre is an absolute necessity to fight terrorism,” he said.

Speaking on the issue in the Lok Sabha during Question Hour, Kalyan Banerjee, a TMC MP, said that the Centre should roll back NCTC. He said the Union government should not make such a move as it amounted to “encroachment upon the powers of the State Legislatures”. “The debate is on why the Central government is trying to encroach upon the field of state legislations,” added Banerjee. Usha Verma, an MP of the Samajwadi Party, too asked a supplementary query, questioning the rationale of setting up the NCTC.

The home minister said the idea of the NCTC had been supported even by the states, which had raised some objections on its proposed way of functioning. “In the Government’s view, we do not believe that setting up an NCTC violates any federal principle or the rights of the States. On the contrary, the NCTC will be a mechanism where the shared responsibility for the Centre and the states can be achieved,” said Chidambaram.