While slamming the Congress-led UPA as corrupt, Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday mooted the idea of a non-UPA, non-NDA secular front at the Centre.
“There is a need for a front against thoroughly discredited and scam-ridden UPA government at the Centre and the communally tainted NDA alliance. You need a front which is both transparent, anti-corruption and secular,” Patnaik told reporters here.
He was replying to a question on his move to unite non-Congress chief ministers over proposed special powers to the newly formed National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) under the home ministry.
The statement for a new front carries significance following Patnaik’s letter on Monday to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asking him to review the home ministry order empowering the NCTC. He was opposing the “draconian” special powers granted to the NCTC to arrest and search without consulting the state government. Patnaik also urged Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalitha, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and Telugu Desam chief and former Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu to oppose the Centre’s move.
The NCTC will be operational from March 1. Naveen wrote to Jayalalithaa, “I am of the view that we, state governments, must resist this blatant encroachment on the federal powers of our people and our governments.”
Patnaik’s statement for a new front ends all speculation about a possible renewal of the tie-up of his Biju Janata Dal with the NDA.