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HindustanTimes Wed,03 Sep 2014

BJP harps on POTA-type law again after Modi's push

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 06, 2012
First Published: 20:24 IST(6/5/2012) | Last Updated: 01:31 IST(7/5/2012)

A day after Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi pressed for a Prevention of Terrorist Activities Act (POTA) act, which was repealed by the UPA government in 2004, the BJP asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as to why the fight against terror through POTA was "compromised" for vote-bank politics.

BJP general secretary Ravi Shankar Prasad said "why was POTA repealed? POTA was an instrument that was needed by the security forces in the fight against terror. It has been declared to be constitutionally valid by the Supreme Court. Yet in your declaration you said we shall repeal POTA... The fight against terror was compromised at the altar of vote-bank politics."

Modi had told the chief ministers' conference on anti-terror body NCTC on Saturday that when the nations were strengthening themselves with robust anti-terror laws, the UPA repealed POTA, an anti-terrorism legislation enacted by the NDA government in 2002. The act had replaced the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA).

Prasad said, "When you talk of fighting against terror with a constitutionally vulnerable instrument, the BJP puts forth some questions to you. Why POTA was repealed and why MCOCA was allowed in Maharashtra and its replica GUJCOC not permitted in Gujarat?"

He said NCTC was a body created by an executive order under the overall control of the Intelligence Bureau having complete secrecy and no Parliamentary accountability. "That is why this issue is very serious," he said.

Terming NCTC as an attack on the country's federal structure, Prasad said, "the fight against terror would be fought purposefully only with cooperation, in coordination and active involvement of the states."


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