New Delhi: Trouble seems to be rising for the government from non-UPA states. The chief ministers of Tamil Nadu and Odisha have now trained their guns at the Centre once again by opposing the proposed amendment to the Railway Protection Force (RPF) Act. They had earlier opposed the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC).
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik wrote individual letters to the Prime Minister alleging that the Centre was trying to usurp the powers of states.
Jayalalithaa, in her letter, said, "This is 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. It would be lethal to the federal structure of the nation."
In his letter, Patnaik said, "The proposed amendment to the RPF Act is in conflict with Article 246 of the Constitution of India. Taking up the amendment without consulting state governments was an infringment of their powers and against the federal structure of the Constitution. It is violative of the provisions of the Indian Police Act 1861 as well."
Earlier Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi had also asked the Prime Minister not to proceed with the amendment.
"The amendment usurps the power of the state legislature and is unwarranted," Modi had said.
The states are opposed to the amendment as it seeks to provide the powers of police officers to RPF personnel.
The Railway Protection Force Act, 1957 deals with powers of the railway police personnel. The proposed amendment seeks to give powers of state police to the RPF. The chief ministers argue that the amendments infringe on the federal structure.