Jaya demands sub-committee of CMs for NCTC

New Delhi: Opposing the NCTC tooth and nail, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today accused the Centre of taking the country towards "autocracy" and demanded that a sub-committee of Chief Ministers be set up to go into the proposed body.

Launching an all-round attack on the Home Ministry headed by her bete noire P Chidambaram, she alleged that Tamil Nadu was being shown "utter contempt" by the Centre which did not even send a copy of the order setting up the National Counter- Terrorism Centre.

Speaking at the Chief Ministers` conference chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here, the Chief Minister said the proposed NCTC needs a "total overhaul" and suggested setting up of a smaller sub-committee of Chief Ministers.

"The NCTC, as has now been notified, should be kept in abeyance, as already advocated by me in my letter to the Hon`ble Prime Minister earlier, till the sub-committee of Chief Ministers gives its report," she said.

"As a matter of fact, any discussion on NCTC is infructuous as long as the notification of NCTC is in force," Jayalalithaa said.

Noting that counter terrorism is a serious matter and any mechanism that is developed should take into account the views of all the stake holders, she said there cannot be one nodal centre sitting in the Ministry of Home Affairs, whose nod is required before any counter terrorist response is undertaken.

"The way things are evolving with the creation of the NIA and NCTC and the proposed amendments to the RPF Act and the BSF Act, we seem to be headed towards an autocracy consisting of a Government of the Centre, by the Centre, for the Centre," she said.

Accusing the Centre of behaving like "Viceroys of yore", Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi said constitution of NCTC is a conscious strategy to cast the Centre as an "omnipresent" ruler with states portrayed as dependent vassals.

Underlining that the fight against terror requires clear vision and a strong political will, Modi said there was a need to carry along all constituents of federal polity and build a conscious view in finalising the strategy to fight it.

Strongly opposing the Centre`s plan for setting up an NCTC, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said it "violates" the principle of federalism and the structure adopted for it suffers from "serious and basic flaws".

Referring to Emergency days, Kumar said that if such powers are given to a secret intelligence agency of the Central Government, they will remain prone to misuse against political rivals and asked the government to immediately withdraw it.