Policy

Modi, Navin, Jayalalithaa meet on ‘federalism'

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018

The meeting of Chief Ministers on internal security saw the informal formation of a group of non-Congress political parties based on the agenda of federalism.

Soon after the meeting, both the Gujarat Chief Minister, Mr Narendra Modi of the BJP, and the Odisha Chief Minister, Mr Navin Patnaik of the BJD, held separate meetings with their Tamil Nadu counterpart and AIADMK chief, Ms J. Jayalalithaa.

Political circles attach significance to the meeting as the BJP, BJD and the AIADMK were actively campaigning against the UPA Government on the issue of “federalism.” The three Chief Ministers, however, declined to comment on the meeting.

Mr Patnaik had contacted Ms Jayalalithaa, the West Bengal Chief Minister, Ms Mamata Banerjee, and the Bihar Chief Minister, Mr Nitish Kumar, on the issue of setting up of the National Counter Terrorism Centre.

A meeting of chief ministers on NCTC is convened next month as insisted by the non-Congress chief ministers.

A BJD leader indicated that there will be “structured” meetings of non-Congress, non-BJP Chief Ministers in the near future.

The meeting of Chief Ministers also saw the non-Congress Chief Ministers attacking the Centre on identical issues. Almost all non-Congress Chief Ministers, except Samajwadi Party leader and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr Akhilesh Yadav, criticised the Centre for allegedly weakening the States in the name of strengthening the Centre.

Apart from the Opposition, Ms Banerjee also aired her opposition to the setting up of National Counter Terrorism Centre. Ms Banerjee was not present in the meeting.

She said in her speech, which was read out in the meeting by the State Finance Minister, Mr Amit Mitra, that the Centre does not provide much help to West Bengal to address the issues and threats in internal security.

Mr Modi and Ms Jayalalithaa said in the meeting that the Centre was not consulting States on key issues. “Lack of consultation with the States and failure to take the States into confidence is a cogent commentary on the system of governance in the Centre,” she said.

>jigeesh.am@thehindu.co.in

Published on April 16, 2012

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