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Congress urges political leaders to join hands over national security issues

New Delhi, Mon, 16 Apr 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Apr 16 (ANI): Congress Party on Monday urged the leaders of various political parties to join hands over national security issues, following opposition by the non-Congress ruled states over setting up of the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC).

Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said challenges to the national security called for multi-partisanship and cohesive, collective and holistic response.

"The Congress, therefore, would like to appeal to all political parties that issues of national security shouldn't become an instrument which divides us. In fact these challenges called for multi-partisanship. They called for a cohesive, collective and holistic response," he said.

Tewari further said the state governments had the prerogative to bring to the notice of the Centre important issues that affect the country.

"If there are specific issues which require the attention of the Central Government it is very well the prerogative of the state governments to flag them, but, however, to turn a national security issue or an issue connected with some aspect of national security into a brownie point scoring affair, is a tendency which should be avoided," he added.

Non-Congress Chief Ministers including UPA ally Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee have raised objections to the provisions in the NCTC, contending that it will upset the federal structure and encroach on the powers of the states.

The main task of the NCTC would be to ensure that a wide variety of security organizations in the country work in tandem, at least on issues related to terrorism.

It will also have the power to seek information, including documents, reports, transcripts, and cyber information from any agency, including from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), National Investigation Agency, National Technical Research Organization, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence and all seven central armed police forces including the National Security Guard (NSG).

The body, which will function under the Intelligence Bureau, would be given its own operational wing with powers to arrest and conduct searches under Section 43A of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. (ANI)

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