The tone and tenor of their speeches at the Chief Ministers Conference on Internal Security were similar and on expected lines. But for Naveen Patnaik,Narendra Modi and J Jayalalithaa,the meeting was just round one as the trio have set their sights on taking on the Centre at next months meet on the National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC).
After lashing out at the UPA government for taking unilateral decisions on subjects falling under the domain of the state governments,Modi and Patnaik drove separately to Tamil Nadu House to meet Jayalalithaa. The three were together briefly as Modi arrived while Patnaik was closeted with the Tamil Nadu CM. Patnaik soon left. The three and Mamata Banerjee who was absent on Monday have been directly and indirectly exchanging notes on the NCTC.
The BJP,apart from Modi himself,too is learnt to be making behind-the-scene efforts to forge a common position among the Opposition-ruled states. The meetings on Monday,sources said,was a continuation of these efforts. While all the chief ministers of the Opposition-ruled states have expressed their opposition to the notification issued by the Centre for creation of the NCTC,efforts were on to forge a common position on the specifics.
Against this backdrop,the attempt was to arrive at a common ground. Sources said talks were underway on whether to oppose the NCTC lock,stock and barrel or insist only on removing certain objectionable provisions.
Jayalalithaa did not speak to waiting reporters after her separate meetings with Modi and Patnaik,but did not forget to inform them that she would be visiting Delhi again to attend the meeting convened by the Centre on May 5 to discuss the NCTC.