In manifesto, Congress promises anti-terror body Modi opposed as Gujarat CM
The Congress manifesto released by party president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday has promised to pull out the plan to set up the country’s first specialised counter-terrorism agency conceived by the previous UPA government after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. The project, however, had to be put on hold after chief ministers of various states blocked the initiative.
As the chief minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi had opposed the federal terror agency at the command of the Centre. Back then, Modi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee were on the same page voicing their concerns about federal structure and infringement upon the rights of the states.
The Congress manifesto promises that a National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC) will be set up “within 3 months”, if the party is voted to power in the Lok Sabha election.
The manifesto says the Congress-led government “will keep a vigilant eye on the security situation and take every measure that is required to maintain law and order and to provide a sense of security for every citizen and for every visitor to India.”
The Congress has criticised the counter-terror policies of the Narendra Modi government. The party has targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi citing major terror attacks such as in Pathankot, Uri and recently at Pulwama, where 40 CRPF jawans were killed in a suicide bombing.
The Congress manifesto says, “The key to internal security is intelligence, analysis and quick response. Congress had put in place the Multi-Agency Centre and the NSG regional hubs. Congress had also proposed to establish the National Counter-Terrorism Centre and NATGRID.”
“The BJP government dismantled the preparatory work and wasted 5 years. NCTC was put in the cold storage and NATGRID is yet to be made operational. Congress promises that NCTC will be set up within 3 months and NATGRID will be made operational by December 2019,” the Congress manifesto for the Lok Sabha election reads further.
In 2012, then UPA government had to put off its plan to setting up NCTC, as chief ministers of non-Congress ruled states, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal fiercely opposed the move.
Even some of the states ruled by the Congress and its alliance partners such as Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, and Uttar Pradesh also made it clear that they were not comfortable with the NCTC.