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No plans to bring any law to set up NCTC, says Shinde

The much talked-about NCTC seems to have got a quiet burial with government making it clear that there were no plans to bring any law to set up the anti-terror body in the wake of strong opposition from non-Congress chief ministers.

Home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said his Ministry was not exploring the option of bringing a bill in Parliament for a wider debate on the feasibility of the anti-terror body as suggested by Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar.

‘No, we have no such proposal,’ Shinde said when asked about the possibility of bringing a law for setting up National Counter Terrorism Centre.

Asked whether government was planning to issue an executive order for NCTC, the Home Minister said, ‘We are not doing anything now. We brought a proposal before the Chief Ministers. But some of them opposed it. So, there is no further movement now’.

Those who are opposing a watered-down proposal for NCTC include chief ministers Mamata Banerjee (West Bengal), Nitish Kumar (Bihar), Jayalalithaa (Tamil Nadu), Narendra Modi (Gujarat), Raman Singh (Chhattisgarh), Shivraj Singh Chouhan (Madhya Pradesh) and Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.

Even Congress chief ministers Prithviraj Chavan (Maharashtra), Siddaramaiah (Karnataka) and Tarun Gogoi (Assam) have expressed reservations to the revised proposal of the NCTC.

Holding that the revised draft order on NCTC suffers from several ‘serious flaws’ and ‘arbitrary’ provisions, the Bihar Chief Minister had asked the Centre to seek Parliament's nod through a wider debate for creating the anti-terror hub.

Sources said, in his concluding remarks at Wednesday's chief ministers' conference on internal security, the Home Minister had said a decision on setting up NCTC will be taken only after full consensus.

A political consensus even on a watered-down proposal for NCTC is unlikely any time soon and the anti-terror hub proposal has gone into deep freeze.

The sources said there has been rethinking among the top political leadership and they would not like to antagonise chief ministers like Banerjee and Bihar's Nitish Kumar on the issue of NCTC ahead of the general election which is less than a year away. After the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, the then home Minister P Chidambaram had announced the government's intention to set up the NCTC.
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