NEW DELHI, Feb 21 � With a host of Chief Ministers attacking the Centre�s creation of an anti-terror body, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today stepped into the picture assuring them that states� powers will not be affected and asking Home Minister P Chidambaram to hold talks with them.
The Prime Minister�s intervention came on a day opposition parties grilled Union Home Secretary R K Singh at a meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs demanding that the move be put in abeyance and another Congress ally National Conference appeared to have reservations over the decision.
�In forming the NCTC (National Centre for Counter Terrorism), it is not the government�s intent in any way to affect the basic features of the Constitutional provisions and allocation of powers between the States and the Union.
�The primary purpose of the NCTC is to coordinate counter-terrorism efforts throughout the country, as the IB has been doing so far. It is for this reason that the NCTC has been located within the IB and not as a separate organisation,� he said in identical letters to seven Chief Ministers who had written to him.
Singh wrote to Chief Ministers of Tripura, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Gujarat, West Bengal, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, who all had expressed apprehensions that the Centre�s decision to set up NCTC would strike at the federal nature of the Constitution and erode the states� powers.