The anti Terror body was proposed after the 26/11 attacks, but back then Modi was against any central control of the states.

With elections just around the corner, each party is coming up with a new strategy to woo voters. Congress has also come up with its party’s manifesto on Tuesday. In the manifesto, Congress proposes to set up the country’s first specialised counter-terrorism agency. This anti-terror body was actually shaped by the previous UPA govt after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.

The concept of a centre led anti-terror body was opposed by several regional parties, including the then Chief Minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee. It was criticised as it would have threatened the federal structure of our nation and interfere with the independent rights of the states.  As a result of which, the project was paused and it never saw the light of the day once BJP came to power.

Congress has criticised the way the BJP-led government has handled sensitive issues of security and terrorism. It has cited the failings of BJP in its ruling years with the terror attacks in Uri, Pathankot and Pulwama.

Congress has once again brought back this anti-terror body project on the floor through its manifesto. The Congress Manifesto 2019 promises that a National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC) will be formed within three months of the party coming to power.

The Congress manifesto reads that if Congress is voted back to power it “will keep a vigilant eye on the security situation and take every measure that is required to maintain law and order and to provide a sense of security for every citizen and for every visitor to India.”

However, back in 2012, when the NCTC was proposed many states opposed it. Not only non-congress ruled states but even the ones with Congress in power were not in full agreement with NCTC.

The chief ministers of non-Congress ruled states like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal were completely against the intervention and infringements of rights of the state by the centre. And even Assam, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh were opposing NCTC when the project was proposed.