State govt-Centre heading towards confrontation?
AFTER GIVING signals of its confrontationist posture by asking the STF to probe the phone tapping issue, the State Government is again inching closer to enter into confrontation with the Centre yet again by expressing serious reservations against some of the provisions in the Communal Violence (Prevention Control and Rehabilitation of Victims) Bill 2005 that vests more powers with the Centre to deal with communal violence.india Updated: Jan 18, 2006 01:45 IST
AFTER GIVING signals of its confrontationist posture by asking the STF to probe the phone tapping issue, the State Government is again inching closer to enter into confrontation with the Centre yet again by expressing serious reservations against some of the provisions in the Communal Violence (Prevention Control and Rehabilitation of Victims) Bill 2005 that vests more powers with the Centre to deal with communal violence.
The State Government is learnt to have taken a strong exception to various provisions of the Bill that provide more teeth to the Centre saying the law and order was a State subject and the Centre had no right to legislate on the issue.
As the Centre proposes to hold a seminar at Lucknow on January 31, 2006 and Union Minister for Home Shivraj Patil proposes to attend it the State Government is likely to weigh various options before going ahead with the proposal.
Other issues on which the State Government has serious reservations include the provision to create a National Communal Disturbance Relief and Rehabilitation Council.
As per the proposal the council would be entitled to undertake tours in communally disturbed areas and the Centre would declare any area as ‘disturbed’ on the recommendation of the council. The State Government has opposed the move on the ground that declaring any area disturbed should remain its own prerogative and the the move would be an infringement of its rights.
The State Government is also going to oppose the appointment of a competent authority under the provisions of the Bill saying this would lead to duplicity of authority with district magistrate already holding similar powers. The State Government has also strong reservations against the move to give powers to the Centre to deploy Central Para Military Forces (CPMF) without prior consent of the State Government.
Much significance is being attached to the State Government’s likely confrontationist posture on the issue as it also involves wooing of the minority community vote bank and targeting the State Governments like Gujarat that failed to deal with situations of communal violence in an apt manner.
The Union Home Ministry has sought to know the opinion of various State Governments and a cross section of society. A high-level meeting presided over by Chief Secretary R Ramani was held here at Lal Bahadur Shastri Bhawan on Monday evening to give a final shape to the State Government’s view on the issue.
A decision to set up a three-member committee comprising Home Secretary RM Srivastava, ADG Law and Order A Palnivel and Secretary Minority Welfare Chandra Prakash is being constituted to give recommendations after examining measures with regard to prevention control and rehabilitation of victims of communal riots. The State Government has also asked its law department to study all legal aspects in the backdrop of its powers in dealing with law and order situation.
A senior officer said the State Government would oppose some of the provisions of the Bill tooth and nail. The officer contended that the law and order was a State subject and no other State Government may agree with the Centre on the issue.
Besides Lucknow, the Centre also proposes to hold such seminars at Banglore, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chandigarh. The State Government is going to point out that the Centre should have held prior consultations with the State Governments before going ahead with moving the Bill in Rajya Sabha.