- 24 chief ministers were present;3 ministers representing their states were present
- Speakers recognized need for an NCTC and the powers and functions of the organisation
- Strong support for NCTC, qualified support by some CM's and outright rejection of the idea by 3 CMs
- Given the kind of threat India faces, between intelligence and investigative agencies, what India needs is a counter terrorism body. It needs to mobilize all sorts of power, including police, judicial, diplomatic.
- Gaps cannot be filled by police, it needs to be filled by a strong anti-terror body. NCTC is that body. It will be highly trained and effective force
- Success and failures in anti-terror operations documented
- Firmly believe a strong anti-terror body is needed
- The decision to bring NCTC under IB was taken by the government based on recommendations by the GoM in 2001
- Two CMs have asked for more safeguards to be built, which will be considered
- Powers and functions of NCTC can be debated
- All suggestions will be carefully and anxiously considered
It's not just UPA's main ally Mamata Banerjee or Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik who are opposing the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), but even Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) - India's external intelligence agency - had put up a red flag way back in early2010. And, theirs was, perhaps, the first dissent that the Home Minister P Chidambaram faced.
NCTC isn't acceptable in the present form. It should not be part of IB. All operations should be conducted with state police. A sub- committee headed by headed by Dr Jayalithaa should look into all issues raised by the CMs. Read more
Jayalalithaa with Naveen Patnaik at NCTC meeting:
Chief minister Tarun Gagoi, who belongs to the Congress party has said he supports NCTC, however, conditions apply. "I support NCTC on special conditions. Govt should take state into confidence and all operations should be joint operations," he said.
From left- Narendra Modi, Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Tarun Gogoi at NCTC meeting:
Speaking to NDTV, Jayalalithaa said the chief ministers didn't share PM's view on NCTC being centre Vs state. She said the future of NCTC cannot be known as yet because deliberations are still underway.
"AIADMK hasn't invalided it's stand. No concrete proposal has been brought to us yet," she added.
On Koodangulam project, she said that it is set to go critical in 10 days.
Mamata Banerjee outrightly rejected NCTC, said it's not required. She said setting up of institutions like NCTC with the proposed powers of arrest and seizure upsets the federal structure of the country and strongly urged the central government to withdraw order on its formation. Read more
Mamata Banerjee and Chidambaram at the NCTC meeting:
- Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi demanded for POTA to be re-introduced to combat terror and naxalism
- Centre behaving like "Viceroys of yore"; NCTC is conscious strategy to cast the Centre as an "omnipresent" ruler with states portrayed as dependent vassal
Maintaining that his objections with NCTC are not against the state's concern at the existing threat to national security, Nitish Kumar said that NCTC violates the sacrosanct principle of federalism. He said the order issued to set up NCTC also suffers from several legal and procedural defects. (Read full speech)
- PM concerned about the fiscal deficit situation and the deteriorating balance of trade. The consequent downgrading by the credit agency - Standard and Poor- has categorised the global outlook on the Indian economy as negative.
- Time has come for the government if India to concentrate on setting his own house in order rather than spending time in advising the state governments on principle of administration
- Tamil Nadu govt didn't receive a copy of the order. Odisha CM shared a copy. Home Ministry's attitude towards TN is casual, bordering on disdain. Home ministry's negligence reveals the utter contempt the centre has for the TN govt.
- There can't be one nodal centre sitting in home ministry, whose nod is required before any counter terrorist response is undertaken
- NCTC seeks to accumulate more powers and distance the other stake holders. This will only strengthen the enemy
- Instead of providing liberal financial assistance, MHA wants to belittle states and treat them like pawns on a chess board, who can be moved around at will. This idea is counter-productive idea and in violation of the constitution
Jayalalithaa with West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee at NCTC meet in New Delhi:
- Keep NCTC in abeyance and constitute committee of CMs to devise counter-terrorism strategy; Chart out way forward after recommendations of the sub-committee are available
- IB will dominate NCTC. Manner in which the staff sought to be selected for NCTC provides the ammunition for RIFTS NOT Ross among various intelligence agencies, which is a regressive step
- Idea of operations decision under IB, independent of state police and armed with powers of arrest and seizure, is preposterous and tweaks a total lack of understanding of ground realities
- India's record against terrorism has shown that failures have occurred mainly in bringing about co-ordination between various intelligence gathering agencies. Kargil war exposed chinks in intelligence gathering and 2008 blasts in Mumbai displayed weakness in collection of information from the common people
- The national investigating agency act 2008 is an instance of a brazen attempt at encroachment upon the powers of the States
- NIA's powers to take up cases without the concurrence of the state government or even sup motu is a case of the centre usurping powers of the state
- Country wishes to know why NIA's trials in sensational acts of terrorism not concluded? Does Home Ministry want to have one more instance of failure in the NCTC as it is now proposed? NIA deserves to be wound up, if it's not providing results
- NCTC not a state vs Centre issue. It is a counterterrorism issue
- Co-ordination necessary between Centre and state to fulfill task. Have achieved noteworthy success because state and central police are working together
- Government remains committed to work with state and provide all help needed
- NCTC will supplement counter-terror mechanism and not supplant the capabilities of the states
- NCTC mechanism will give states capability to give a bigger picture of the terrorism act
- Need fairly board consensus; want the states to be with centre
- Want the state government's co-operation for this important mission; Central government open to suggestions of CMs
- Wish all success in the deliberation and look forward to an open discussion
Highlights of Chidambaram's speech:
- No one has questioned the validity of the act. After the horrific attack on Mumbai, there was a demand to strengthen the laws. All political parties joined together and unanimously passed the legislation.
- The Preamble was amended and a resolution was made and all states were asked to take measures against terrorism.
- Careful consultations and discussions were held in Parliament.
- We have dealt with the genesis and objectives of this act.
- Section 43B has an objective and has a clear mention of the state government
- Under constitution, counterterrorism is a joint effort between the state and the governmentt
- Many terrorists have footprint across borders.
- Anti-terrorism border has to work with many organizations
- Highlight new dimensions to terrorism threats
- There are terrorism threats on the cyber domain. No border on the online domain, how does the centre combat this space?
- Instances where despite sharing information with states on imminent terror attack, no action was taken because the state police had no capacity
- 2 days ago, central agency received info about a possible terror attack. States were alerted. Suppose, an action has to be taken within minutes or seconds, does the Centre has the power to take action then?
- Counter terrorism is a shared responsibility.
The 'make or break' meeting on the NCTC has begun. The Prime Minister, Home Minister, and Defence Minister have arrived.
Mamata Banerjee, who is staying at her government-allotted flat located near Ram Manohar Lohia hospital has left for the meeting. Before getting into her car, she told reporters that it wouldn't be right to speak before the meeting.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh too expressed his hesitation over the issue. "Giving such powers to an intelligence agency like the NCTC which would be constituted without statutory basis will be against the spirit of the constitution and rule of law. Forcing all the officers of the state governments to comply with NCTC by an executive order will be against the federal structure of the Constitution," is what his statement says.
Read more: Who said what before the NCTC meet
- Statement circulated by Mamata Banerjee: "In conclusion, I reiterate my clear stand that the exercise of police functions should remain the prerogative of the State as enshrined in the Constitution and the well conceived equilibrium of powered and responsibilities between Centre and the States."
- Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has demanded a roll back of the NCTC and asked for more concrete action plans to combat terror
#NCTC meeting today. Would have live tweeted the proceedings but I'd probably be turfed out from Vigyan Bhavan.- Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) May 5, 2012