An explosive situation is brewing between the Centre and the opposition parties in Parliament over the former requisitioning three senior Tamil Nadu police officials allegedly involved in the manhandling of Union ministers Murasoli Maran and T R Baalu.
"Over-enthusiastic police officers have to be taught a lesson for manhandling central ministers," averred Samata Party leader and Railway Minister Nitish Kumar.
Referring to the recent drama in Tamil Nadu where the state government, led by Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, arrested the Dravidra Munnetra Kazhagam chief M Karunanidhi, Kumar said, "The highhandedness of police officials against Union ministers cannot be condoned."
He indicated that the Tamil Nadu government was reluctant to release the three officials but the Vajpayee government was "equally adamant in summoning them on deputation".
Kumar said, "If this (the Centre requisitioning the officials) is a prestige issue, we will not back off." He did not elaborate.
Incensed by the treatment meted out to Karunanidhi, Maran and Baalu, a National Democratic Alliance delegation led by Samata Party leader George Fernandes recently visited Madras.
Since then, the Centre has been involved in a battle of attrition with its Tamil Nadu counterpart.
NDA ministers in the Vajpayee government feel that they have cornered Chief Minister Jayalalithaa by seeking to transfer the three police officials belonging to the Tamil Nadu cadre -- S George, Christopher Nelson and Mohammed Ali -- out of the state.
On Sunday, Union Law and Justice Minister Arun Jaitley asserted that the Centre has "overriding powers" in the transfer of Indian Police Service officials.
Jaitley's assertion has dispelled all doubts that the Centre is manoeuvring itself into a position wherein it can chastise the three officials.
Bharatiya Janata Party sources at the party's parliamentary office reinforced this impression.
"If the Centre wants the three police officials, it means something. They aren't being invited for a picnic. They will have to pay for their omission and commission."
Back to top
Tell us what you think of this report