New Delhi, Feb 21 (IANS) Supporting the chief ministers opposing the central government’s proposed anti-terrorism hub, the Bharatiya Janata Party Tuesday accused the United Progressive Alliance government of trying to change the federal structure through an executive order.
“The government is trying to change the constitutional scheme of things through an executive orderthe centre cannot substitute the police powers of the states under the (National Counter Terrorism Centre) NCTC,” BJP leader and Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley, told reporters here.
“We support the reservations expressed by many chief ministers against the NCTC,” he said.
Stating federalism is a basic structure under the Indian Constitution, he said even the parliament cannot amend it.
“Under the constitution, public order and police powers are with the states. But in fighting terrorism, both the centre and the states share responsibility,” he said.
Charging that the UPA government has forgotten how to govern the country, he cited Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s earlier statement on dealing with the Maoist problem.
According to Jaitley, Chidambaram had then said that since law and order are state subjects, the state governments should fight the Maoists and the centre will provide help in the form of central forces.
Citing the government’s Feb 3 notification regarding the NCTC, Jaitley said it will provide power to central security agencies to search and arrest people in states under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
“This government is alien to statecraftIts track record in fighting terror is poor,” he said.
NCTC has faced opposition from many states including West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Tripura, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha.