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Centre sidetracking states in anti-terror war, says NDA

By our correspondent in New Delhi | January 06, 2009 17:42 IST

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Mounting an attack on the Centre on behalf of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance at the chief ministers' conclave in New Delhi [Images], Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi [Images] and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday claimed that certain states have been 'sidetracked' during the United Progressive Alliance's fight against terrorism.

While Modi spoke out against the Centre sidetracking states in its fight against terrorism, Nitish Kumar shared his misgivings about the National Investigation Agency encroaching upon the state's law-enforcement powers.

"By setting up the NIA, the Central government now obviously wants to take the responsibility of fighting terror, sidetracking  the states," Modi declared at the conference,  convened by the Home Ministry to fine-tune strategies to fight against the menace of  terrorism.

As the BJP itself had supported the NIA and other anti-terror laws presented in the Parliament, Modi conceded, "Even though this arrangement is contrary to our federal spirit, I wish the Central government all success in its new role."

Modi, who was chosen to lead the attack at the conference by the NDA parties, also criticised the amendments carried out in the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, insisting that the bail provisions have been diluted, making it easier for the accused to secure bail.

Modi declared that the war against terror cannot be fought half-heartedly and stressed that only draconian laws like the Prevention of Terrorism [Images] Act can keep terror activities under control.

He also used the opportunity to point out that the Gujarat Control of Organised Crime Act, which had several stringent provisions to handle organised crime, has repeatedly been turned down by the Centre.

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