A sideshow of non-Congress chief ministers at the Tamil Nadu House in Chanakyapuri overshadowed the UPA government’s attempt to reach out to state heads on the proposed National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC).
Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa hosted her counterparts from Gujarat and Odisha, Narendra Modi and Naveen Patnaik, at the Tamil Nadu House apparently to discuss ways to mount pressure on the Centre to drop the idea.
Though the outcome of these meetings is not expected to be anywhere as drastic as a similar one held by Jayalalithaa in 1999 to topple the Vajpayee government, the fact that she hosted the indignant chief ministers of Odisha and Gujarat has led to speculation that they could be discussing more than just the creation of the NCTC.Tamil Nadu House sources said a similar event was likely to be held again on May 4, on the eve of another chief ministers’ meet on the NCTC issue. Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal may host that meeting at Punjab Bhavan.
Patnaik was the first to meet Jayalalithaa, and the two were closeted for over 25 minutes. Soon after, Modi spend around 40 minutes speaking to the ADMK supremo. All the three refused to divulge what had transpired at the meetings. Though Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal was also scheduled to meet Jayalalithaa, he could not make it.
Though the Centre had stated in the agenda papers that it would keep the states in the loop before carrying out raids or arrests, the dissenting chief ministers were not impressed.
Earlier, at the CMs’ meet, Jayalalithaa warned against an “emerging pattern” of the Centre “abrogating” the state's powers through passage of bills. Modi said the UPA government was pursuing a "non-consultative" approach with the state governments on key security issues. Patnaik sought urgent consultations between the Centre and states on the NCTC, saying that any further delay would affect law and order.