PM cites Italians abduction to back NCTC

New Delhi: In the backdrop of the abduction of two Italian tourists by the Maoists in Odisha, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday cited the need for the establishment of the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) to tackle left wing extremism.

"Nation needs to be united on terrorism. Abduction of two Italians in Odisha is a grim reminder of Left-wing extremism. The abduction is an indication that our security has a threat if we are not united to fight against extremism," Manmohan said in the Rajya Sabha while replying to the amendment motions moved by the Opposition on the NCTC which was referred to in the President`s address.

The Prime Minister emphasized that the Opposition`s charge that the Centre was trying to encroach upon the powers of the states and destroy the federal structure of the country by operationalising NCTC was not correct. "Nothing will be done that will infringe on the federal structure of constitution," he said. The Opposition demanded assurance from the Prime Minister that without the consensus from the chief ministers, the NCTC will not go forward.

BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu said that his party was not satisfied with the Prime Minister`s assurance on NCTC. To this, Congress leader Pawan Kumar Bansal tried to give reasons by saying, "The Prime Minister has said that he will consult and build consensus on NCTC. There will be consultations with the chief ministers and the meeting has been fixed for April 16 with the Prime Minister," Bansal said.

The amendment motions failed in the Rajya Sabha as the Samajwadi Party(SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party(BSP) voted in favour of the government while the Trinamool Congress Party(TMC) members abstained from voting. Later senior BJD member Pyari Mohan Mohapatra said that "It was a black day in the history of Indian democracy as members of some political parties voted in favour of the government despite opposition to the formation of the NCTC." The amendment motions had failed in the Lok Sabha on Monday.