The Congress seems to be losing the battle against Naxals. It was evident during the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) meeting when three Congress ruled states Chief Ministers—Karnataka, Maharashtra and Assam—joined the stiff opposition over some of its provisions and also questioned the intention of the Central government. They said the Centre is interested not in internal security but in the political security. Interestingly, instead of listening to them, the opposing leaders were grilled by the Congress UPA. Thus, the meeting concluded without any fruitful decision. Perhaps, this is what the Congress leaders and Ministers wanted.
Prime Minister many times termed Naxalites as the biggest threat to country’s internal security, but when it comes to curbing the menace he also joins politics on the issue. He cannot even reign in his party’s leaders who are repeatedly weakening the fight by calling the Naxals as misguided people and not the terrorists.
Majority of the Chief Ministers attending the meeting termed the renewed NCTC as an attempt of the Centre to destablise the federal structure of the country. Terming the formation of the new agency as a poorly conceived idea, Gujarat CM Narendra Modi called for the strengthening of the existing organisations like Multi-Agency Centre (MAC). “It is not clear how big it is going to be, what forces are going to comprise it, how exactly it is going to function and which statute will it derive its powers from. I think such poorly conceived ideas which tinker with age old existing systems rather than strengthening them are going to do irreparable loss to our internal security apparatus,” he said.
“Moving the Multi-Agency Centre from within IB to the proposed NCTC will end up weakening it even as it appeared that it was taking some concrete shape. The proposed NCTC will be just another superstructure in the maze of institutions already existing,” Modi said in his speech. He proposed structure of the NCTC was not in congruence with the principles of federalism as it essentially tries to create a “federal police” which is an alien concept to the country. “I fear that it will be another institution of the Centre for political misuse against Opposition-ruled states,” he said.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh said the very idea of NCTC is against the federal structure. “We are opposed to the NCTC in its present state. We want that if NCTC comes into existence, it should respect the federal structure of the Constitution. The participation of states in the NCTC should not get reflected only on paper. “To make it effective and useful the states role should be ratified by Parliament. In the present proposed NCTC an executive order may lead to duplication at the State level,” he said.
Talking to Organiser Dr Raman Singh said there is a need to fight naxal terror with united spirit as terrorism was rooted out from Punjab. “We organised all party meeting in Chhattisgarh, but the Congress did not attend the meeting. Now the Prime Minister has called an all party meeting on this issue, we hope a collective fight will be there against this menace,” he said. He expressed concern over the statement of Congress leader Digvijay Singh who termed the Naxals “misguided people and not the terrorists”. “What was seen with the body of Mahendra Karma was the height of cruelty. If this is not terrorism, what else it is. After firing innumerable bullets in his body, they stabbed over 60 times,” he said adding that if the nation has admitted Naxalism as a national problem the whole country should stand against it as was done in Punjab. (FOC)