States will not tolerate NCTC powers: Naveen

Bhubaneswar: Intensifying his offensive on the issue of National Counter Terrorism Centre chief minister Naveen Patnaik today said state governments would not tolerate Centre`s "authoritian" and "draconian" order on powers and functioning of NCTC.

"We have taken it up very seriously as the order clearly infringes the federal rights of the states and the people. The Centre must withdraw its February 3 order on NCTC," Patnaik told reporters here, while questiong the Centre on why the states were "bypassed and kept in dark" over the issue.

Asked about the next step of the chief ministers of several states who have expressed their displeasure on the issue, Patnaik said, "We`ll consult among ourselves to take a decision on the matter."

Patnaik said though he had faxed a letter on the state`s objection to the NCTC order to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Feburary 13, no acknowledgement had been received so far. "They (Centre) have neither spoken to me over phone nor sent any letter in this regard," he said.

The Union Home ministry in its February 3 order has empowered the newly constituted NCTC under the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to arrest and search under the UAPA without even consulting the state governments, he said.

"When Union Home Minister P Chidambaram often says that security and police are state responsibilities, how come his ministry issues such an order where states are bypassed and kept in dark," Patnaik asked.

Stating that he had spoken to the chief ministers of West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and TDP leader Chandra Babu Naidu on the issue, Patnaik said he understood from the media that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had also opposed it.

"No sensible chief minister will accept this authoritarian order of the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre," Patnaik said, adding that he was surprised over the Centre`s attitude which did not even bother about the federal rights of the states.

To a question, Patnaik said he hoped that the chief ministers of Congress ruled states should also oppose the order. "This (NCTC order) has been done in a very cynical way," Patnaik said.