BHUBANESWAR: Leaders across political spectrum in the country have started jumping on the bandwagon supporting Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s stand against the proposed National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC).
Naveen got another shot in the arm on Friday when former chief minister of Andhra Pradesh and Telugu Desam president N Chandrababu Naidu demanded that the Centre’s order on the NCTC should immediately be rescinded. It smacks of ‘authoritarianism’, he charged.
In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Naidu sought his intervention on the issue and requested him to direct the Union Home Ministry to revoke the order immediately.
“The Ministry of Home Affairs should be asked to initiate debate with political parties and state governments along with discussion in Parliament on this vital issue affecting Centre-state relations,” he said.
Naidu shot off the missive supporting West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s stand on the NCTC.
Both Banerjee and Jaya have written to Prime Minister expressing their strong reservations about the anti-terror authority following Naveen’s letter.
Now, it seems regional satraps are closing ranks against the Centre on the issue.
“It came to my notice that the Ministry of Home Affairs vide its office memorandum of February 3, 2012, has vested all- encompassing and sweeping powers in the proposed NCTC in the Intelligence Bureau (IB) violating the federal spirit of the Constitution,” he said.
“The order, undoubtedly, smacks of authoritarianism and is against the spirit of cooperative federalism enunciated in the Constitution,” Naidu said in the letter released by Odisha Chief Minister’s Office here.
The director of the NCTC, specified as designated authority under Section 2(e) of Unlawful Activities (prevention) Act, 1967, and his officers can arrest and conduct search without prior consultation with the state government concerned as per the order of Ministry of Home Affairs, he pointed out.
“They (NCTC officers) can have access to information, documents, reports from all the civil authorities directly from the functionaries of the state government.
It is quite inexplicable that such an important order, having ramifications on Centre-state relations, has been issued without consulting the state governments and political parties,” Naidu said.