TODAY -

UPA Govt passes NCTC test in Rajya Sabha
Source: The Sangai Express / Agencies

New Delhi, March 20 2012: The government on Tuesday heaved a sigh of relief as amendments moved by opposition to the President's Address on National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) were defeated in the Rajya Sabha, where the UPA is in minority, with the help of SP and BSP while ally Trinamool Congress absented.

The government, which has 97 members in the 245-member House, had a smooth sail in the voting on the NCTC after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said nothing would be done to infringe upon the federal structure and the next step would be taken only after full consultations with the States.

Four amendments moved by the CPI(M) and the BJP were put to vote at the insistence of Opposition members, who were seeking an assurance that the government will not move forward on the NCTC unless there is an "agreement" with the Chief Ministers.

The amendments were defeated by 105 to 82 votes.

The SP with four members and the BSP with 17 voted with the government.

The TMC with six members left the House before the voting.

Four more amendments on the issue of Sri Lankan Tamils were also put to vote on the insistence of CPI and AIADMK in which the government won securing 84 votes of the total 94 present as members from Left and NDA had already walked out.

Subsequently the Motion of Thanks was adopted by voice vote.

Replying to the debate on the Thanks Motion, Dr Singh earlier said the next step on operationalising the NCTC would be taken after full consultations and noted that a meeting of Chief Ministers has been convened in this regard on April 16 .

Making a strong pitch for the NCTC, he said it was an important step in fighting terrorism and left-wing extremism and cited the abduction of two Italians in Odisha as a "grim reminder" of the danger posed by these to national security.

The Prime Minister said, "Earlier this week, two Italians were abducted by left wing extremists (in Odisha).

It is a grim reminder to all of us that our nation's security could be in danger if we are not careful and alert in tackling the problem of terrorism and left wing extremism" .

While noting that the idea of NCTC and the manner in which it will function are two separate things, the Prime Minister said, "There may be differences of opinion on the manner in which NCTC will function but through discussion and dialogue, these differences can be narrowed down and a broad based consensus arrived" .

He also assured the House that "nothing will be done, which in any manner, infringes on the federal structure of the Constitution" .


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