Allies back edgy UPA over NCTC for national security

Trinamool, BSP and Samajwadi Party MPs lend tacit support to Government for the National Counter Terrorism Centre by walking out at the time of voting; PM assures all CMs that no further action would be taken without their consultation
Lakshmi Iyer
Posted On Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at 12:09:12 AM
New Delhi: It was raining support for the UPA government as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh gave a please-all speech on Monday in the Lok Sabha in reply to the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address. 
The Government had feared that recalcitrant UPA allies like the Trinamool Congress (TMC) would vote along with the Opposition's motion amending the President's address over the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) issue. 

By the time Dr Singh had finished speaking, he virtually had the UPA allies eating out of his hand and had also acquired new friends. It may be recalled that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was one of the first CMs to red flag the NCTC. 

However, the TMC lent tacit support to the government in defeating the amendments after its 19 MPs walked out of the House during the vote. Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MPs also walked out. 

The Samajwadi Party demonstrated its friendliness to the UPA by accepting the PM’s words on the NCTC. 

Dr Singh made a strong pitch for the NCTC saying it was an important step to fight terrorism. The PM made it clear that no further action would be taken on the NCTC without full consultations with the states. 

For a change, Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj also did not press for any amendment. She said that if the Home Minister were to assure the House that the NCTC would take effect only after the April 16 meeting of all CMs, she would withdraw her motion. 

Mamata’s Roy of hope 
Banerjee was sitting pretty in the Central Hall, chatting away when she was informed that her protégé Mukul Roy would be elevated to the Cabinet rank on Tuesday. 

The TMC chief had taken Roy to the PM for a brief introduction. Banerjee who ensured the sacking of former railway minister Dinesh Trivedi, after he hiked the passenger fares in the Railway Budget is reportedly pushing for the inclusion of a second minister in the Cabinet. 

India may vote against LankaMeanwhile, DMK members were initially pleased with the PM, when he hinted that the Government would vote in favour of the US-backed resolution against Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Commission over the war-crimes issue. 

But later found out that the PM had hedged himself from making full commitment on voting against Sri Lanka by saying that the UN resolution must serve India’s objectives. 

SP not joining UPA
After a week-long speculation, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav finally made it clear that his party was not joining the UPA. 

“We are not joining the UPA government,” Yadav said. Taking a dig at BSP chief Mayawati, he said, “But we will back the Central government from the outside to prevent communal forces from taking power in New Delhi.”  (With Agency Inputs)