Put on hold NCTC: Jaya

Chennai: After West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee`s strong opposition, her Tamil Nadu counterpart Jayalalithaa today asked the Centre to put on hold formation of NCTC which is sought to be "steamrolled" into existence.

In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, she said it was "surprising" that the Chief Ministers meeting had been convened on April 16 to discuss various matters on internal security, which included National Counter Terrorism Centre.She demanded a separate CMs meeting to discuss it.

"It is indeed unfortunate that without taking into consideration the views and sentiments of various State Chief Ministers, the constitution of NCTC is sought to be steamrolled into existence," Jayalalithaa said.

She said "at this juncture I request that the formation of the NCTC may first be ordered to be held in abeyance and a separate meeting of Chief Ministers convened only to discuss this matter."

Jayalalithaa said she had earlier conveyed her strong objections to certain provisions of the Office memorandum of Home Affairs Ministry over the proposed formation and functioning of NCTC, and the manner in which it was sought to be constituted without consulting state Governments.

"Many other Chief Ministers have also conveyed similar views in their communications to you," she told Singh.

Despite reservations, state officials attended the March 12 meeting, she said, adding she was informed that the Home Secretary had clarified to a query that the memorandum had not been withdrawn and this was deemed to have come into effect from March 1.

Jayalalithaa said the views of various Chief Ministers have to be given due consideration and a purposeful discussion on counter terrorism should be made possible.

On Saturday, Mamata Banerjee had written to Prime Minister, saying NCTC is a "very sensitive issue" and that it should be the only matter of discussion at the meeting so that all states can express their views properly and adequate interaction can take place.