Watered-down NCTC proposals too falls flat

New Delhi, Jun 5 (PTI) Even a watered-down proposal for anti-terror hub NCTC still appeared a non-starter with non-Congress states on Wednesday strongly opposing its setting up while the Centre warned them that the country will have to pay a price if it does not come into existence.
 
At the conference of Chief Ministers, convened to discuss internal security issues, skipped by Jayalalithaa and Mamata Banerjee, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik attacked the propsal as infringing on the principles of federalism.
 
They felt the idea was to essentially to create a "federal police" which is an "alien" concept to the country.
 
Stung by the crticism, Finance Minister P Chidambaram, the architect of NCTC, said the opposition to the idea was "unfortunate, wrong and deeply regrettable" and that the country will have to pay a price from time to time if it does not come into existence.
 
After Sushilkumar Shinde took over as Home Minister from Chidambaram, changes were made in the wake of the opposition from non-Congress Chief Ministers to make NCTC acceptable to them.
 
Among the changes proposed were that NCTC would be taken out of the ambit of IB, its operations would be conducted in consultation with state governments and the central government would send special forces only with the consent of states.
 
Modi said the creation of the new institution or organisation of this nature should be done only after having a complete unanimity amongst the Centre and the states.
 
"The inability of the Centre to coordinate efforts with states to achieve consensus on such issues emanates from the unwillingness on its part to recognise the states as equal partners in handling issues related to internal security. It also exhibits a strong sense of one-upmanship and a contempt for the constitutional division of powers," he said.
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