The Centre has made the first move to iron out differences with non-Congress state governments over the National Counter Terrorism Centre by proposing that states will be made partners under the standard operating procedure being drafted for the anti-terror body.
The government hinted in the agenda papers sent to the chief ministers before the April 16 internal security meeting that the SOP would ensure “the state governments concerned are taken into confidence”. The detailed SOP will be circulated before the CMs’ meeting.
But initial response from the non-Congress chief ministers indicates that they may stick to their demand for striking off the notification that created the NCTC in the first place.
Last week, conceding the demand for a meeting exclusively on the NCTC on May 5, home minister P Chidambaram hoped for a “very good outcome … as everyone realises the fact that India is one of the most vulnerable countries from terror attacks in the world”.
He said the April 16 meeting of CMs would discuss the issues mentioned by the agenda, while the May 5 meeting would primarily discuss the NCTC.
But sources in at least two state governments said the non-Congress CMs from Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Tripura and Jharkhand would push for scrapping the NCTC proposal.
What’s more, the governors of West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Karnataka have also conveyed their reservation over certain aspects of the NCTC.
The home ministry, however, argues that a majority of state chief secretaries, home secretaries and police chiefs, who attended the March 12 meeting, “broadly” supported the NCTC proposal.