New Delhi: Gujarat
Chief Minister Narendra Modi Monday accused the United Progressive
Alliance (UPA) government of "creating an atmosphere of distrust"
with the states through its move to give police powers to central
paramilitary forces and investigating agencies.
Speaking at the chief ministers' conference on internal security,
he urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to bridge the gap.
"Whether it is the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC),
Railway Protection Force or the Border Security Force, the
centre's unilateral activity is creating an atmosphere of distrust
between the centre and the state... I urge Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh to bridge the gap," Modi told reporters on the sidelines of
The centre has proposed the creation of the National Counter
Terrorism Centre (NCTC) that will have powers to arrest terror
suspects all over the country, apart from carrying out
investigation and raids.
This has been opposed by non-UPA chief ministers, including Modi,
who shot off letters to the prime minister, resulting in the NCTC
not becoming functional on March 1 as was originally proposed.
Modi has also written separately to the prime minister against the
proposals to provide the central government-controlled Railway
Protection Force (RPF) officers powers equivalent to state police
officers; also amendments to the Border Security Force law to
enable their officers to effect arrests in the hinterland, apart
from existing powers to arrest border violators and cross-border
Modi said these actions of the centre were creating an atmosphere
of distrust with the state governments.
Accusing New Delhi of adopting a unilateral approach on issues
concerning internal security, Modi said it must see the states as
partners in maintaining national security.
"Internal security is too serious a matter to be treated as an
arena for one-upmanship by the union government," Modi said in his
address at the conference.
However, he noted that the central government "after long, paid
heed" to the states' objection on creation of NCTC and has now
decided to hold a separate meeting with the chief ministers on May
"Let me draw your attention to the fact that the NCTC imbroglio is
part of unsavoury episodes that have taken place since we (chief
ministers) last met and the leitmotif of this episode has been the
unilateral approach of the union government," he said.
Modi said the state governments faced the brunt of problems
related to internal security and hence must be seen as partners.
Citing examples of "non-consultative" approach of the union
government, Modi referred to the amendment to the RPF Act, and
said: "The union railway ministry has tried to create a state
He also referred to his letter to the prime minister detailing his
concerns about the proposed amendment to the BSF Act, 1968.
"It is unfortunate that the union government has failed to instil
faith and confidence about our defence preparedness in the common
man," Modi said in an obvious reference to the leaked letter of
army chief Gen. V.K. Singh to the prime minister detailing gaps in
India's defence preparedness.
"Any lacunae in our defence capability on account of resource
constraint, demoralisation of the rank and file, and tensions
between the civil and military wing is bound to have an adverse
impact on the internal security of the nation.
"I earnestly request the Indian government to take proactive step
to clear the fog of mistrust and suspicion that has arisen on
account of the recent unseemly controversy and not remain content
with mere issuance of statements," the Gujarat chief minister
Referring to the issue of terrorism, he said it had international
"We have experienced terrorists fleeing our country and often
carrying out subversive act sitting outside the boundaries of our
nation. It puzzles me as to what a helpless situation we are put
into; even we are unable to bring the perpetrators of terror to
justice," he added.