Facing stiff opposition from allies over various measures, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said difficult decisions were getting “more difficult“ because of coalition compulsions and pressed for eschewing narrow partisan approaches in the interest of the country. Singh made a strong pitch for the NCTC (National Centre for Counter Terrorism), saying it was an important step to fight terrorism but made it clear that no further action would be taken on it without consultations with states.
Replying to debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President's Address, he spoke about the opposition to the NCTC and responded to the demands by Tamil parties for supporting UN resolution against Sri Lanka by saying that India was “inclined“ to do so if it meets its “objectives“ with regard to the future for ethnic Tamils “based on equality, dignity, justice and self respect.“
He also talked about the difficult situation in the economic field and expressed commitment to reforms to push growth. “I am sure members re alise that difficult decisions we have to take are made more difficult by the fact that we are a coalition government...We need to have consensus,“ he said.
PM noted that the issue of NCTC has been discussed at various fora and Multi-Agency Centre was set up in 2001 as a precursor. “A number of chief ministers have expressed concern after the order (on setting up of NCTC) was issued (in January),“ Singh said, adding he had responded to these. “A meeting of chief ministers took place on March 12, another meeting will take place on April 16.“
He also spoke on the issue of a resolution against Sri Lanka at UNHRC, which ally DMK along with other Tamil parties want India to support.DMK, with 18 members in Lok Sabha, has even threatened to consider pulling out of the government.
Emphasising the need for faster, sustainable and more inclusive growth, the PM said credible steps in this regard would be unveiled in 12th Five Year Plan to be presented to the National Development Council this year.“I wish to remind the honourable members that our path is not easy. I am sure that the members also realise that the difficult decisions that we have to take are made more difficult by the fact that we are a coalition government and have to evolve policy while maintain a consensus,“ he said.