Congress launches counter-offensive on NCTC issue

New Delhi: Congress today sought to turn the table on Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress and others on the NCTC issue pointing out that some of them were part of the NDA which had passed the controversial POTA in 2002.

"If we recall and rewind, there were several partners in the NDA government when draconian laws were passed. A lot of these people were associated when these draconian laws were framed," party spokesperson Renuka Chowdhary told reporters.

Her comments came a day after Mamata Banerjee shot off a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demanding "review and withdrawal" of the order on the organisation, function, power and duties of the newly-constituted National Counter Terrorism Centre.

In her letter to the Prime Minister that was issued by Odisha Chief Minister and BJD chief Naveen Patnaik`s office in Bhubaneshwar, Banerjee expressed concern over alleged infringement of federal rights of states. Both Trinamool and BJD were in NDA in 2002. Patnaik, who had also written to the Prime Minister against NCTC earlier dubbed the order to give more powers to NCTC as "draconian".

Chowdhary also talked of "collective responsibility" to tackle terror. "It is time for us to think conscientously and work collectively. We are looking at national terror. I do not think we can make any compromise," she said backing the government`s move on NCTC, a brainchild of Home Minister P Chidambaram.

Another party spokesperson Manish Tewari also traced the genesis of NCTC to NDA rule saying the measure is really an improvement of the multi-agency centre that had come up as a result of the recommendation made by the GoM set up during the NDA government.

"All those who are crying hoarse or shedding crocodile tears on terrorism needs to look at the genesis of how the multi-agency centre came into existence and how it has evolved into NCTC," he said.