Jayalalithaa, Patnaik join anti- RPF Act amendment chorus

Last Updated: Wed, Feb 29, 2012 06:13 hrs

Bhubaneshwar: After the controversy surrounding the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa have trained their guns on the Central Government again by opposing a proposed amendment to the Railway Protection Force (RPF Act).

They have joined Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in asking Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to instruct the Railway Ministry not to proceed with the move

They have expressed their concern over the move in separate letters to the Prime Minister, alleging that the Centre is trying take away the power of the states.

Patnaik said that he had written a letter to the Prime Minister opposing the Railway Ministry''s proposal for giving police powers to the RPF.

"I understand that the Centre is planning to amend the Railway Protection Force, or the RPF Act. This will give police powers to the RPF personnel. As usual, the Centre is ignoring the state governments. Here is one more example of keeping the state governments in the dark by the central government. This is why I have written urgently to the Prime Minister," Patnaik added.

Patnaik said public order and police were state subjects, and taking up any amendment without consulting states, was an infringement of the powers of the state.

"Railway tracks are not outside the jurisdiction of the states through which they run in," he added.

Jayalalithaa described the proposal as another attempt by the Centre to take away the rights of the powers of states.

"I, request you to issue suitable instructions to the Ministry of Railways not to proceed with the proposed amendment to the Railway Protection Act - 1957", she said in a letter addressed to Dr Singh.

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