West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday, would discuss various issues ranging from the Teesta water treaty with Bangladesh to the controversial counter-terror intelligence hub, a Trinamool Congress leader said Tuesday.
The meeting between Manmohan Singh and Mamata Banerjee comes at a crucial political juncture when Banerjee had repeatedly upped the ante against various polices of the central government, where they are in an alliance.
Banerjee had severely criticised and had joined her counterparts from Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Bihar and other states in opposing the just approved National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), a brainchild of the union home minister P Chidambaram.
"Mamatadi will discuss various issues with the prime minister. But the issues which will top the agenda will be NCTC, Teesta Treaty with Bangladesh, Farakka Barrage water sharing treaty and financial aid to Bengal," said a party MP, who did not want to be named.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday wrote to seven chief ministers to allay their fears and promised to have home minister P Chidambaram address their concerns.
Singh’s response to letters from the chief ministers of seven states, including Gujarat and West Bengal, came on a day Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah stressed the need for consultations with states and a parliamentary panel called for putting the NCTC on hold.
The states opposed the move to give NCTC powers of search, seize and arrest that they perceive to be their jurisdiction.
The PM’s letter, however, did not indicate that the powers of the NCTC — to come into force on March 1 — would be reviewed. Instead, he suggested the NCTC would primarily be coordinating counter-terrorism efforts, a role that is being carried out by the Intelligence Bureau (IB).