After spending weeks to slam the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) for encroaching on the powers of states, the two leading critics of NCTC — the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) — on Thursday slammed the Centre for its hands-off approach in securing release the two Italians in Odisha.
BJP and BJD chief ministers including Odisha’s Naveen Patnaik had led the attack on home minister P Chidambaram over NCTC, describing the Centre’s powers as an assault on India’s federal structure.
In Parliament, the BJP-led NDA partners moved amendments to the President's address delivered earlier this month to remove every reference to the NCTC in her address. The amendments were voted out by Parliament.
On Thursday, BJP and BJD members were up on their feet again but this time, the emphasis wasn’t on law and order being a state subject. Instead, the speeches insisted on the need for the Centre playing a more active role to ensure release of the two Italians.
In the House, Bhartruhari Mahtab, BJD MP from Cuttack complained about the Centre not showing any interest in ending the abduction of the Italians during Zero Hour in Lok Sabha.
The abduction of the foreign nationals was a serious issue with international ramifications, he said, wondering how a foreign national had been staying in Odisha and travelling across the country for more than 20 years.
“This is a concern for every conscious Indian,” he added.
Challenges that the Republic faces from terrorism and other threats require the Union govt to be more sensitive to powers of the states. Many state govts face such challenges on their own turf. Unfortunately, the anti-federalist tendencies of this government seems to be getting worse over time
-Bhartruhari Mahtab, on 14th March
What is Centre doing?... If foreign nationals go there, they get abducted, is it not serious
-on 22nd March
Mahtab was supported by many other NDA MPs including LK Advani.
Building a case for a greater role for the Centre in this case, Advani lamented the lack of communication between the Centre and the state and asked the central government to tell the House “what has happened so far and what can be done (to secure release of the hostages).”