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HindustanTimes Mon,21 Apr 2014

Mamata will only attend May 5 meet

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Kolkata, April 15, 2012
First Published: 15:07 IST(15/4/2012) | Last Updated: 22:54 IST(15/4/2012)

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee is likely to skip the chief ministers' meeting on internal security convened by the Union home ministry on April 16.

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She will, however, attend the special meeting on the controversial National Counter Insurgency Center (NCTC) on May 5, convened by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

"Our chief minister is not likely to be part of the meeting. Someone else will represent the state," said a leader of Trinamool Congress.

Party sources said it is not necessary for Banerjee to attend the April 16 meeting, which is meant to discuss counter terrorism, intelligence issues, border and coastal security and the problem of infiltration. The NCTC is also on the agenda.

But when the meeting was announced, Banerjee, along with other chief ministers including Nitish Kumar, Naveen Patnaik and J Jayalalithaa, had objected, demanding a separate meeting to discuss the NCTC.

Their objection to the proposed anti-terror hub was that it would infringe upon the states' powers. A meeting to discuss internal security would not have enough time to deliberate on the issue, they had argued.

Buckling under the pressure, the Centre had convened the May 5 meeting.

"Since the matter (NCTC) will be discussed with the prime minister in May, no decision can be arrived at on April 16," said another party leader. "The discussion on NCTC with Chidambaram is redundant. Therefore, there is no need for Banerjee to go."

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