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Anti-Cong group in works?

delhi Updated: Feb 18, 2012 00:29 IST
HT Correspondent

After the lokpal bill and FDI in retail, the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) has become the latest common rallying point for some UPA and opposition parties.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, whose Trinamool Congress is one of the biggest partners in the UPA, has joined CMs of opposition-ruled states to flag down the NCTC.

A section in the group of non-Congress CMs opposed to NCTC claimed it could be the beginning of a pressure group of regional parties. TDP's Chandrababu Naidu has already backed them.

Top sources in the camp said talks were on to rope in the Sikkim Democratic Front and NCP in the protests against NCTC. The NCP has so far backed the Congress.

Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik said there was "need for a new transparent, corruption-free and secular front".

A senior leader of his party, BJD, said: "This is going to be a platform of non-BJP, non-Congress parties that are strong in their regions. The message we want to send out is that the bigger parties cannot ignore regional outfits and their state governments".

With pressure mounting on NCTC, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said in Kolkata: "We will have to take notice of their observation and the government will take appropriate action."

While the Congress leadership has ruled out the threat of a new front, BJP chief ministers have lent support to the cause.

Banerjee's opposition to NCTC comes ahead of her February 22 meeting with PM Manmohan Singh after she alleged that the home ministry was delaying clearance of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration Act.