Farooq adopts middle path on NCTC issue

Farooq adopts middle path on NCTC issue

18 February 2012
The Daily Excelsior


Jammu: At a time when Chief Ministers of various States opposed the setting up of the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) on the ground that it infringes on the federal structure of the country, National Conference president and Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Dr Farooq Abdullah chose to adopt middle path on the issue. In an informal chat with the media-persons on the sidelines of a National Conference’s provincial working committee meeting at party office here this afternoon, Dr Abdullah said, 'let me be very frank. There is a federal structure in our country and in a federal structure, the Central Government and the States have certain priorities between themselves and have certain laws in their hands', adding 'the Central Government and States must cooperate with each other in the matters related with the security of the country'. 'In that process, nothing should be done which will infringe on the federal structure of the country', he said while expressing hope that the Home Minister, P Chidambaram, would be able to set at rest the opposition from various quarters to the setting up of National Counter Terrorism Centre. 'Let us wait till the Home Minister explains his position on the NCTC', he said in response to a volley of questions about stand of National Conference, a partner with the Congress party in the Coalition Government in the terrorism affected State and a partner in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government at the Centre, on the issue. Though this was his first reaction on the issue yet Dr Farooq Abdullah, who is the former Chief Minister of the State, chose to adopt a middle path by not supporting or opposing the move in explicit terms. In response to a question about the State Accountability Commission observation that appointment of Advisors to the Chief Minister and Chairpersons of various Advisory Boards with Cabinet Minister or Minister of State status was a political favoritism, the National Conference president said, 'all what I can say at this moment is that law will take its own course. Let us wait till law takes its own course'. When asked why the NC-led Government had not adopted the Constitutional route to appoint Advisors and Chairpersons of different Advisory Boards, Dr Abdullah said, 'State Government will explain before the Accountability Commission'. In response to a question as to whether submission of resignation by the Peerzada Mohd Sayeed to the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi was Constitutional, he said, 'it was the president of Congress party, Sonia Gandhi who had cleared the list of the Ministers to join the Coalition. Therefore, Peerzada was within his right to send his resignation to Sonia Gandhi', adding 'there is nothing wrong about it'. 'As Congress president, it is up to her to decide on this issue. I am sure that investigation report must have also been sent to her. As soon as she is free from elections she will take decision', Dr Abdullah said. About the Peerzada’s claims that Sonia Gandhi has rejected his resignation, the Union Minister said, 'I don’t know what really Sonia has said. Peerzada has no right to say anything on behalf of the party president on this issue', adding 'such a statement should come from the office of the Sonia Gandhi. I am sure final decision on the resignation of Peerzada Sayeed will come from Sonia Gandhi as soon as she is free from electioneering in elections to various States'. 'Corruption is a major issue before the country and I don’t think any body wants to promote it', Dr Farooq said when asked whether non-acceptance of Peerzada’s resignation amounts to encouraging the corrupt practices. 'Prime Minister, Sonia Gandhi and even Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah are clear that corruption has to be completely wiped out from the country', he said, adding 'let the Congress president get free from electioneering as the decision on Peerzada’s resignation will come from her'. Dr Farooq, who is also the president of Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association, said that foundation stone of the international cricket stadium at Jammu will be laid within next two-three weeks as final model of the stadium will soon be sent to the builders. He disclosed that National Conference is going to hold elections to various wings of the party as the membership process has recently been completed. 'The elections will be held for various posts from village level to Presidential post of the party and the entire process will be completed within six weeks or so'. Earlier, in the provincial working committee meeting of the party, Dr Abdullah discussed organizational issues and future course of strategy to be adopted to strengthen the party at grass root level. Asking the party workers to strengthen the bonds of coalition at grass root level, Dr Abdullah said 'the State Government has completed three years which witnessed holistic development in all spheres and it is our (Party’s) responsibility to take the message of the Government to the people and strengthen the bonds of the coalition'. He also called upon the party rank and file to gear-up for the upcoming Municipal and Local Bodies elections, which have been announced by the Government. During the day long meeting, several resolutions were unanimously adopted. It was stated in the resolution that Coalition Government headed by Omar Abdullah has successfully completed three years with record development in all spheres of life despite the fact that the Government faced numerous challenges. It was appreciated that Chief Minister has strengthened the basic democratic institutions by setting up of first tier of Panchayat Raj system and initiated another step towards strengthening the basic democratic institutions by announcing elections to the local bodies. It was unanimously demanded that Government should on war footing assess the losses due to heavy snowfall and ensure compensation to the sufferers. It was also demanded that in view of rising prices the wages of MGNREGA workers, old age and widow pensions should be enhanced. The House appreciated the Government for passing Public Service Guarantee Act and bringing some vital departments under its purview and setting in motion process to appoint Chief Vigilance Commissioner and two Vigilance Commissioners.