Internal security top priority, says Shinde
Power grid failures for two consecutive days in the country may have brought darkness to the lives of people but it has lightened up the future of Congress veteran Sushilkumar Shinde as he drove to North Block on Wednesday to assume charge as the country’s new Home Minister.
Known as a gentleman-politician, Shinde, a sub-inspector in Maharashtra police in his early days, held a high-level meeting with top echelons of security forces and intelligence officials after assuming the charge and made it clear that as Home Minister his first priority would be to better coordination between the Centre and states.
Shinde is also the second Dalit Home Minister after Buta Singh, who held the same position in 1980s.
The early signals from Shinde bode well for the future of the Home Ministry as some crucial decisions related to internal security is pending before the ministry including the creation of anti-terror body -- the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC).
The 71-year old Dalit leader, who was once awarded for fielding the maximum number of questions in Parliament, will also have to answer some uncomfortable questions over critical issues of the NCTC and amendment to the BSF Act.
His experience as Chief Minister may come to his rescue since several state governments have been accusing the Centre of usurping the powers of the states through the proposed mechanism.
After taking over as the Home Minister, Shinde said that he will take states into confidence to tackle the internal security challenges.
“I have been hearing from political circles in Central Hall in Parliament that there is still scope to plug the gaps in the relation between the states and the Centre,” Shinde said.
He also mentioned remarkable works done by his predecessor P Chidambaram adding that he will carry forward the legacy.
“We will have to go ahead. One has to have good relations with the states. The states may be ruled by different parties. But I want to send a message to all Chief Ministers that we are all Indians and together we will work wherever there is difficulty,” he said.