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February 22, 2012

Chief Minister discusses NCTC, GTA and Farakka crisis with Prime Minister

Chief Minister Ms.Mamata Banerjee met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today. After her meeting, Ms. Mamata Banerjee said the proposed NCTC will disturb the federal structure. "I sought an appointment with the Prime Minister to discuss the issue of GTA and the problem arising out of excess flow of water to Bangladesh through the broken sluice gates on Farakka barrage. I will discuss these issues with him," she said.

"What we have observed is that in the name of NCTC they can arrest anybody, they can interfere in any business, they can give UAPA Act (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act). To anybody without consent of the state government. Also they can requisite the police personnel or police group from any state. These three are the contradictory of our federal structure. And that is why every chief ministers is raising their voice because it will disturb the federal structure," she told the media here.

She said, "According to the constitution, the central government is like a parent, the state governments are like children. The centre must look after its children."
"We are not in favour of giving protection to a terrorist, we are fighting the battle. But there is a system if the Centre and the state governments do it together then there will be no confusion," she added.

The Prime Minister, she said, had assured her that the concerns will be looked into and that he had instructed the Home Minister to consult state governments.

Ms. Mamata Banerjee is one of the seven chief ministers who are opposing the Home Ministry's proposal to set up the National Counter-Terrorism Centre.

For the record, the meeting is to discuss issues of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) and "excess flow of water" to Bangladesh through the Farakka barrage. Ms. Mamata Banerjee got the PM`s assurance for a quick approval of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration Bill. “We have done our part and now the Centre has to get the bill signed by the President. The PM told me the centre would clear it in a day or two,” she said.

Highlights of what Ms Mamata Banerjee told after the meeting:

  • On NCTC: The NCTC issue was an executive order. What was the need to implement a recommendation of a GOM that was given 11 years. We requested him that until the consultations are over, please don't implement the order.
  • On GTA: The Prime Minister said he is concerned and instructed the Home Minister to consult the states.
  • On Farakka Barrage Crisis: We have demanded a high-power enquiry on how water from Farakka was pilfered. It has affected the Haldia port, the state will have no drinking water, electricity. Who will pay for what has happened? The PM said that he has instructed the Water Resources Ministry to look into it.

We have not asked for any financial package for West Bengal, she told.