Parochial politics is a great threat to matters of national importance. A recent example of this is the state governments’ opposition to the proposed amendment of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) act by the Centre. The non-Congress ruled states have been opposing the amendment in a similar fashion as they did against the setting up of the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC).  Though the Centre is of the view that the stalemate over NCTC will be resolved in the upcoming meeting of the state DGPs, ATS Chiefs and Home Secretaries, the chances of a positive outcome seems elusive.  Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik who along with Mamata Banerjee had vehemently opposed the NCTC is stressing on the need to convene a meeting of the Chief Ministers on the issue. There is no harm in doing so but the Centre should have discussed this with the states during the initial stages of the NCTC as such meetings have rarely yielded any results. Numerous meetings of state Chief Ministers have been held in the past over the threat of Naxalism in the country but in vain.

Time will tell only whether the NCTC will become a reality or not. But those who are going to be benefitted the most out of this tussle would be the terror outfits. A similar problem to that of the NCTC has emerged in giving more powers to the RPF. The Railway Ministry wants to amend the RPF act in order to give it more teeth. But this has somehow not boded well with the state Chief Ministers as they believe that empowering the RPF will infringe on their rights. Why do the states become conscious of their rights only when matters relating to security of the country are raised? This attitude of the states is uncalled for as changes in the security system is the need of the hour. No matter what the states say, the fact remains that the RPF has proved to be a failure in executing its duties.  It is surprising that in spite of the opposition, the Congress has distanced itself from the controversy maintaining that the Rail Ministry is the nodal agency to look into the matter. This seems as the Centre’s reply to Mamata Banerjee who has been opposing the NCTC. Whatever may be the case, a tit for tat attitude should not be adopted in matters of national significance.