New Delhi: Reacting to Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde’s statement that the Centre would pursue the NCTC issue as it was necessary to tackle the menace of terrorism; the BJP has charged the Centre of taking Hyderabad blasts to its advantage.
BJP leaders also slammed Shinde for his remarks that NCTC is being opposed by only opposition ruled states and advised the government to strengthen intelligence gathering and coordination mechanism rather than "playing politics" on the issue of terrorism.
"Several innocent lives have been lost in the Hyderabad blasts. The government should stop playing politics on the issue of terrorism. We want the government to take appropriate action. There should be better coordination between the Centre and the state governments," BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
The main opposition party maintained that the blame-game should stop and the system of intelligence gathering and sharing of information between the Centre and the states should prime concern of the government to aptly handle the challenges posed by the terror outfits.
Pledging all support to the government in the fight against terrorism, BJP said the country should unitedly deal with the menace. However, it alleged that the government is not taking appropriate measures. "This government should rise above vote-bank politics...On every passing day, Shinde is being seen as an unsuccessful Home Minister," Prasad said.
In the past, BJP has opposed National Counter Terrorism Center on the grounds that it will encroach upon the policing rights of states. But BJP-ruled states maintain they are ready to cooperate on some aspects like sharing of information. Asked about Shinde's charge that some states are opposed to NCTC, Prasad said, "We are not against coordination between the Centre and the states. But why was there no coordination between the Andhra Pradesh STF and the Centre. The Centre says it had given intelligence inputs, but the state says it had not received any information."
Amid resistance by some states to the setting up of National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde had earlier expressed readiness to tweak the proposal to break the logjam on the issue. He said in the Rajya Sabha that the government was willing to keep intelligence agencies away out of the proposed unified counter-terrorism body and make any other changes to make it acceptable to states. "We want to implement it. We have received letters from some states not to go ahead in the current form. Today also, we are ready. If intelligence agencies are to be kept out of ambit, we can. Anything else, we will remove. Let us sit together and discuss," Shinde said while replying to a debate on Hyderabad bomb attack.
Salman Khurshid seeks support for NCTC
Seeking support for the proposed National Counter Terrorism Centre, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid today said all political parties and state governments should come together for a collective response to fight against the challenge of terrorism.
"It is not a matter of pushing. It is a matter of concern for all of us including all political parties, state governments and all the people involved with governance at the Central Government level to come together to find collective response to the challenge (of terrorism) that continues to haunt us," he told reporters outside Parliament.
The Minister was asked if the government would try to push the case for the proposed apex counter-terror organization (NCTC) in wake of the blasts in Hyderabad in which 16 people died and 120 have been injured. Opposition-ruled states are opposing the creation of the NCTC saying the proposed body would encroach into their rights.