BHUBANESWAR: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday said he had no intention of politicising the campaign against terror as alleged by some Union ministers. His primary objection to National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) is the ‘high-handed’ manner in which the Centre is trying to push through an important issue. “Let me assure you that I have no intention to politicise the campaign against terror as has been stated by some of your ministers and senior officers to the media,” Naveen wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. This is his second missive to the Prime Minister on the issue. He had shot off the first letter to Singh on February 13.
“As the Chief Minister of Odisha and a citizen of India, the security of the nation is my prime concern as I am sure it is of all the chief ministers of the country,” he said.
The Chief Minister asserted that he is strongly opposed to terrorism and extremism in any form and has always been with the Centre in the fight against that.
“Let me make it clear that terrorism and extremism are scourges which need to be fought by the nation united,” said Naveen. He is the first among the chief ministers to oppose Centre’s February 3 notification on organisation, function and powers of the NCTC.
“Prior consultation with states would have greatly strengthened the process of national security in which our aims are identical,” he said. He is surprised to find no response from the Prime Minister’s Office or the Ministry of Home Affairs to his earlier letter on the matter, he added.
Requesting the Prime Minister to urgently initiate the process of consultation with the states, Naveen said the order, with modifications as necessary, should come into force only after due consultation. Naveen pointed out that the creation of NCTC with its director as the designated authority under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act does not have legitimacy. Empowering its officers to search and arrest under Section 43-A of the UAP Act by the order dated February 3, 2012, does not have legitimacy too in the absence of consultation with the state governments for incorporating their views on such a critical subject, he added. “One has to be cautious that such orders never translate into suspension of democratic rights as happened in our country during the Emergency,” he said.
The Chief Minister told mediapersons that copies of the letter have been forwarded to Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, his counterparts in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu Mamata Banerjee and J Jayalalithaa and Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu.
Naveen had earlier written to the two chief ministers and Naidu to enlist their support in the fight against the Centre’s ‘bid to encroach’ on the states’ rights.