New Delhi: It was an all-out war between the states and the Centre at a crucial meeting on the new anti-terror body in the national capital on Saturday. Here are the top 10 quotes from what various chief ministers said about the National Counter Terrorism Centre or NCTC:
J Jayalalithaa, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu: Does the Home Ministry feel that their officials are more capable and more virtuous than the police personnel in the States? Does it feel that the Intelligence Bureau is more trustworthy than the Research &Analysis Wing? Does it feel that state governments cannot be trusted with certain confidential information? There cannot be the NCTC in the manner proposed.
Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat : The assertions and assumptions on which the NCTC has been crafted, casts the Central Government in the role of an omnipresent, omniscient ruler with the states portrayed like dependent vassals. It belittles the states which are today, the real engines of India's progress.
Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister of Bihar: The proposed operations division will be handing over the person(s) arrested by them to local officers in charge who will further investigate and take legal recourse for remanding the accused to judicial custody. What happens if the local police, on investigation, find the charges not true or find evidence of false implication of a suspect?
Raman Singh, Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh: Giving such powers to an intelligence agency like 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.
Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister of Odisha : No other democratic country has given such wide ranging powers to their secret intelligence agencies as has been envisaged in the case of NCTC. NCTC can assume command over any crisis situation and act unilaterally without concern for local sentiments.
Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister of Punjab : There are legal problems with the provisions of the NCTC. For instance - the Director NCTC, is himself an investigator and can undertake important operations personally where he carries out seizures. As the designated authority he is also required to review all seizures. Obviously he cannot review his own acts.
J Jayalalithaa, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu : After the NIA was set up, what do the results show? Even today the country wishes to know why the trials in certain sensational acts of terrorism have not been concluded, and why the perpetrators of crimes have not been successfully convicted. With such a track record, does the Ministry of Home Affairs want to have one more instance of failure in the NCTC as it is now proposed? In my view, even the National Investigation Agency deserves to be wound up, if it cannot show any results.
Narendra Modi Chief Minister of Gujarat : The NCTC makes state units totally subservient and kills local initiative. It will create a draconian covert agency with police powers. This revives memories of the Emergency of 1975-77.
Mamata Banerjee Chief Minister of West Bengal : 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
Shivraj Singh Chouhan Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh : On one side, government of India emphasises on coordination among state and central security agencies and on theother hand, state authorities are overlooked in deciding counter terror policies. Continuous neglect of state agencies in this direction shows the growing tendency of centralisation. No consultation was done with state agencies in amendment of the Unlawful Activities prevention Act (UAPA) in 2008 or while creating the National Investigation Agency (NIA). The order on the NCTC is another step taken in this sequence.