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State powers being abrogated: Jayalalithaa

New Delhi: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today warned against an “emerging pattern” wherein the state`s powers are “abrogated” by the Centre through passage of bills and accused it of showing “scant respect” for state governments.

In an all-round attack on the Congress-led UPA, Jayalalithaa accused the central government of “encroaching on state powers” through the National Counter-Terrorism Centre which was in “contravention” to constitutional provisions that accord priority status to police in the State list.

Addressing the Chief Ministers` Conference on Internal Security here, she claimed that the Centre unilaterally decided on the Indo-US joint naval exercise in the Bay of Bengal without taking the state government into confidence.

“Lack of consultation with the states and failure to take the states into confidence is a cogent commentary on the system of governance in the Centre….This is not all. Adding insult to injury, the central government did not permit the Consul-General of the US Consulate, Chennai, and senior Indian Navy Officials based in Chennai to meet me as the constitutional Head of the Government,” she said.

Jayalalithaa, who is opposed to the NCTC, said this implies that the central government has “scant respect” for constitutionally-elected state governments.

She also expressed the hope that the Centre follow the principle of prior consultation with the state governments, whenever such important decisions are taken by the central government. “No doubt, it is a pre-arranged exercise according to the prescribed tenets under covenant between two countries. Even so, is it too much to expect to be kept informed?” she asked.

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