Chief ministers of non-Congress ruled states on Saturday reiterated their opposition to the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) in New Delhi. This is what they said:
Narendra Modi of Gujarat demanded that state agencies were at the cutting-edge of war against terror. "NCTC makes state units totally subservient and kills local initiative. It will create a draconian covert agency with police powers."
J. Jayalalithaa of Tamil Nadu said NCTC should be kept in abeyance. "Constitute a committee of chief ministers to devise a counter-terrorist strategy. Once recommendations of the committee are available, then chart the way forward."
Naveen Patnaik of Odisha demanded changes in NCTC's design and powers. "NCTC can assume command over any crisis situation and act unilaterally without concern for local sentiments... There is no provision of obtaining the concurrence of state governments (for) operations in the (states)."
Parkash Singh Badal of Punjab said legal problems plagued the NCTC in its present form. "The director NCTC, for instance, is himself an investigator and can undertake important operations personally where he effects seizures. As the designated authority, he is required to review all seizures. Obviously he cannot review his acts."
Raman Singh of Chhattisgarh said NCTC was unconstitutional. "Giving such powers to an intelligence agency like NCTC which would be constituted without statutory basis will be against the spirit of the constitution and rule of law."
Mamata Banerjee of West Bengal said policing should remain with states. "Police functions should remain the prerogative of the state as enshrined in the constitution."
Nitish Kumar of Bihar demanded the rollback of orders regarding constitution of NCTC. "The order ... suffers from several legal and procedural defects."
Sadananda Gowda of Karnataka sought a review of the order. "I urge the central government to review several provision of the NCTC and allay many of our apprehensions before going ahead."