NEW DELHI: Giving in to the demands of most non-Congress-ruled states, the Centre has decided to convene a separate meeting of Chief Ministers on May 5 to exclusively discuss its proposal to set up a National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC).
Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday announced that the Chief Ministers’ meeting on NCTC has been called heeding the request of three of them— J Jayalalithaa, Mamata Banerjee and Naveen Patnaik. Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa had, in fact, written to the Prime Minister on four occasions regarding this—on February 17, February 20, March 5 and April 2. “The Prime Minister asked me to convey to the CMs that a separate meeting on NCTC will be held on May 5. I have written to all the Chief Ministers,” Chidambaram said. The Centre had earlier called a meeting of CMs for April 16 on internal security, in which NCTC was among 10 issues on the agenda.
“On April 16, we will discuss the agenda already circulated to them and on May 5 we will discuss NCTC,” Chidambaram said on Tuesday. Having given in to the pressure, particularly by UPA ally Banerjee, the Centre now hopes that a middle-path can be found on establishing the NCTC.
Underlining the geo-political need to have a counter-terrorism centre, the Home Minister said India is “most vulnerable to terrorist attacks. We must institutionalise the fight against terrorism.” To smoothen ruffled feathers of the State governments which perceive the anti-terror body as a Central ploy to interfere in their domain, Chidambaram said the NCTC will have more representation from the States than the Centre.