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Govt to hold separate meeting on NCTC with CMs

Kolkata: Bowing once again to pressure from ally Trinamool Congress, government has agreed to discuss the National Counter Terrorism Centre issue separately with chief ministers in Delhi on May five as demanded by Mamata Banerjee.

Home Minister P Chidambaram, on instruction from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has communicated to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee that agreeing to her suggestion, the NCTC issue would be discussed at a separate meeting with the chief ministers on May five, secretariat sources said here.

The Centre had earlier called a meeting of chief ministers on April 16 on internal security, in which the NCTC was listed among 10 issues on the agenda. Now agreeing with Mamata Banerjee`s suggestion to the Prime Minister made on March 30, nine issues on the agenda will be discussed on April 16, they said.

A separate discussion will be held with CMs on May 5 for discussing the NCTC, the sources said, quoting Chidambaram`s communication to Banerjee.

Banerjee had earlier written to the Prime Minister pointing out that she had received a letter from the Union Home Ministry on the chief ministers` conference on April 16 where NCTC was among ten items on the agenda.

The Trinamool chief had stressed that in such a case the focus of the NCTC, which was a very sensitive issue, would be lost and had suggested it should be the only matter of discussion at the meeting so that all states could express their views properly and other issues could be discussed subsequently. "It is not good to impose or bulldoze in a federal structure," she had said.

Banerjee had also said that at her last meeting with the PM, she had requested him not to go forward with the NCTC without consulting with and consensus among states.

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