Under attack from non-Congress-ruled states over setting up of an anti-terror institution, home minister P Chidambaram on Saturday sought to reach out to them saying that the security of the country is a shared responsibility of the central and state governments.
"Security of the country is shared by the Centre and state governments. The Constitution of India assigns law and order to the state government and also assigns the Centre to protect the country against external aggression or internal disturbance," he said, speaking the inauguration of an NSG hub here, about 50 kms from Kolkata.
Chidambaram said the founding fathers of the Constitution were also wise when they made article 355. "That is why they made national security, internal security a shared responsibility."
"I have a responsibility to work with the states to quell terror, any militancy or rebellion," he said at the function, which was skipped by West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
Banerjee has joined over half-a-dozen chief ministers of non-Congress-ruled states in opposing the Centre's plan to create a National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC), claiming that it violated the federal provisions of the Constitution and was an attempt to usurp the states rights.
In his brief speech, Chidambaram did not refer to the controversy over the NCTC, nor did he make any comment on the chief ministers' opposition to it.