Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today stepped in to allay fears of different chief ministers on the country's federal fabric concerning the composition of National Counter-Terrorism Centre.
"I have, however, noted your concerns about the manner in which the NCTC will function and am asking the Home Minister to address them suitably, in consultation with you and other Chief Ministers," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wrote in his letter to seven chief ministers.
Countering the allegation that the NCTC will infuse the Centre with ruthless power over states, he said, "In forming the NCTC, 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."
Singh also explained the rationale behind putting the NCTC under IB in his letter.
"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," the prime minister wrote.
Singh also focussed on the fact that the NCTC was constituted on the basis of a suggestion given by a Group of Ministers in 2001. It may be mentioned that the National Democratic Alliance government under the leadership of prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was in power during the period.
"As you may be aware, the idea of such a centre has been under consideration by Government since the Group of Ministers report of 2001 suggested a Joint Task Force on Intelligence and the report was accepted by the Government of the day. It was also suggested by the Second Administrative Reforms Commission that a National Centre for Counter Terrorism be established," he said.
The prime minister wrote to seven chief ministers of Tripura, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Gujarat, West Bengal, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh.
Earlier, the PMO had tweeted out the gist of the letter.