Naveen urges PM to call meeting on NCTC

Bhubaneswar: The stand off between the Centre and the state governments opposing the formation of the National Counter Terrorism Centre(NCTC) has deepened further with chief minister Naveen Patnaik toughening his stand against the Union Home Ministry`s proposed meeting with the Directors General of Police and other concerned officers of the state governments on March 9 to discuss the functions of the NCTC.

In a strongly worded letter to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh regarding the DGPs meeting convened by the Union Home Ministry, chief minister Naveen Patnaik said that the Prime Minister himself should immediately call a meeting of chief ministers to address the concerns of the states on this very urgent issue. The Union Home Minister P Chidambaram in a letter to the state government has informed that the Union Home Secretary would chair the meeting with the DGPs on March 9 in New Delhi.

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik had on February 13 dashed off a letter to Manmohan Singh expressing opposition to certain features of the NCTC which he apprehended would infringe the federal structure of the constitution. Nine other non-Congress chief ministers including Mamata Banerjee, Nitish Kumar, Jayalalitha and Narendra Modi also echoed the words of Naveen and opposed the establishment of the NCTC.

The Prime Minister while backtracking on the formation of the NCTC had assured Naveen and other chief ministers in his letter of February 21 that the "Union Home Minister will suitably address the issues raised by the chief ministers". The Centre and the Union Home Minister P Chidambaram have convened the DGPs meeting after the Prime Minister assured the chief ministers to address the issue.

But Naveen has been peeved at the proposed meeting of the DGPs to be chaired by the Union Home Secretary. Naveen in his letter today said"the issues raised by several chief ministers, including myself, relate to national security, terrorism and extremism which require deliberation with us at the highest level." Chief minister Naveen Patnaik has urged the Prime Minister to urgently call a meeting of the chief ministers to address the concerns of the states on the NCTC.