The Congress on Monday downplayed Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa's plea to the Centre to put on hold the formation of National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) and said the process of consultation should be allowed to be completed.
"On the floor of the House and outside, the Prime Minister and the home minister have very clearly stated that they are open to consultation on the issue," party spokesman Manish Tewari told reporters.
He recalled that when the first batch of letters on the issue were written by some chief ministers, the government had made it clear that whatever the concerns of the chief minister are, they need to be addressed and "after that a lot of water has flown under the bridge."
"The government has initiated a process of consultation and I think let that process of consultation play itself out",
Earlier, in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Jayalalithaa said it was "surprising" that the chief ministers meeting had been convened on April 16 to discuss various matters on internal security, which included National Counter Terrorism Centre. She demanded a separate CMs meeting to discuss it.
"It is indeed unfortunate that without taking into consideration the views and sentiments of various state chief ministers, the constitution of NCTC is sought to be steamrolled into existence," Jayalalithaa said.
Her plea has come at a time when several opposition chief ministers are ganging up on the issue apart from West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee whose party Trinamool Congress is a key UPA constituent.