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If the states don’t want NCTC, so be it: Sushilkumar Shinde

The enthusiasm for setting up National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), which was conceptualised following the Mumbai 26/11 carnage, seems to have ebbed. An indication in this regard came just three days after a terror attack took place at Bodh Gaya in Bihar.

Sounding non-enthusiastic about the plan, Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Wednesday said that the government won’t antagonise states by going ahead with the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), though he added the project has not been shelved. ‘It is a federal structure. If they (states) don’t want it, so be it,’ Shinde told the media when asked about progress on the proposed anti-terror agency. ‘We tried to push it through. We deleted the operational details after the states objected to it. There should not have been any problems but the chief ministers still opposed it,’ he said.

On 5 June, both opposition and Congress chief ministers had expressed strong reservations over the NCTC, claiming it violated the principles of federal structure.
Facing opposition not just from non-Congress parties, the proposal was opposed by Congress’s own chief minister M Siddaramaiah who had voiced reservations over the full-fledged operationalisation of the NCTC and said that ‘the body should not be given unbridled powers’. Chief ministers of non-Congress ruled states had argued the mooted set-up was against the principle of federalism.

Finance Minister P Chiadambaram said the country will have to pay heavy price if the anti-terror hub does not come into existence. ‘I am afraid, the kind of seriousness that we should give to NCTC is lost. And I deeply regret that a couple of chief ministers opposed the NCTC even at the present modified version. If this NCTC is opposed, I am afraid, as I said, the country will pay price from time to time,’ he had said.
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