Thorn in Mamata’s 35 roses: ‘Keep terror centre on hold’

PM says he has instructed Chidambaram to find ways to address the concerns of states.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: February 22, 2012 9:59 pm

In a veiled though strong rebuttal to those opposing the National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC),Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today informed West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee that a group of ministers in 2001 (during the NDA regime) as also a high-powered committee on administrative reforms had recommended an NCTC.

Banerjee,who called on the PM with 35 yellow roses,remained unrelenting though. “I told the Prime Minister that if something was recommended 11 years ago,what was the need to implement it now? Why have the states not been consulted?” she told reporters after her meeting with the PM.

When Singh told her that he had already instructed Home Minister P Chidambaram to consult the states,the CM demanded that as long as the consultation process was on,the executive order on the NCTC should not be implemented. “The PM said that he will see,” said Banerjee.

Equating the Centre to a “father” and states to “children”,she told reporters that she did not intend to protect “terrorists” but action should be taken with states on board. “The NCTC gives the Centre the power to arrest,interrogate and requisition police personnel. These three are violative of the federal principles,” she said.

Responding to Banerjee’s complaints about the delay in the formation of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration,the PM told her that the concerned file would be sent to the President within two days.

As the CM took up the issue of leakage in the Farakka barrage bacause of which,she said,80 per cent of the water flows into Bangladesh,the PM said that a high-power committee would be set up at the Centre to look into the issue.

She said there was no discussion on a “Bengal package”. “We never asked for any package. We never begged from anyone.”

Banerjee also paid Pranab Mukherjee a “courtesy call”.

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