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Buoyed by the breakthrough in the Ahmedabad [Images] serial blasts case, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi [Images] on Friday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] and made a strong pitch for giving assent to a bill to combat terror and organised crime in the state.
"A political will is needed to further strengthen the police force including giving them more legal powers and resources. I requested the prime minister to immediately pass Gujarat's law against organised crime, which has been passed twice by the assembly, and has been lying with the Centre for the past four years," Modi told reporters after the meeting during which National Security Advisor M K Narayanan was also present.
Modi said he explained to the prime minister that the a law similar to the Gujarat Control of Organised Crime Act was already operational in Maharashtra.
"It is important to understand that this law exists in Maharashtra and if a bomb blast takes place they can use it, but if it happens in Gujarat just 50 km away I don't have the law," he said.
The fire-brand chief minister also took a dig at the United Progressive Alliance government's stand that there was no need for a Prevention of Terrorism [Images] Act-like law.
"I want to tell those politicians who have their minds filled with vote bank politics that there were terrorist activities even when POTA was in force and that despite having Section 302 (of IPC which gives death penalty for murder) murders do take place. Does this mean we remove this clause?" he asked.
Modi harped on the need for "strong laws" to prevent youngsters from falling prey to terrorists who were looking to recruit them for their anti-national activities.
Modi had sent a request to the prime minister that NSA M K Narayanan be present during their meeting.
"I apprised them about the information revealed by the terrorists arrested for their involvement in the Ahmedabad blasts," Modi told reporters.
There is a need for co-ordination between the Centre and states and also among the states to combat terror, he said.
"It has come to light that states which are doing well economically are especially being targeted. I requested the prime minister to call a meeting of such states and he has agreed to it," Modi said.
Modi, who swept to power in Gujarat in December 2007 for the second consecutive time, said, "I also requested the prime minister that since Gujarat is a border and coastal state there is a need to re-look and upgrade its security."
He said there was a need for border fencing and special training and providing modern equipment to the forces engaged in border security.
Modi said he was not interested in playing politics on the issue of terrorism.
"I am not here as a BJP leader, but as a voice of the Gujarat assembly which represents 5.5 crore people. We should face terrorism as a united force," he said, when asked if he felt the BJP-ruled states were being discriminated against by the Centre in the fight against terror.
"I hope the prime minister and the government in Delhi [Images] will show political will and take a decision soon," he said.
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