Mamata-Naveen put speculations at rest, deny talks on politics

Bhubaneswar: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday targeted the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and alleged that it wanted to divide the nation in the name of religion, region and caste.

Addressing media after meeting her Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik at Naveen Nivas, she too stated the saffron party is playing a big role in dividing Hindus and Muslims across the country.

“They (BJP) divide the caste and party. Sometimes they purchase MLAs, ministers and whatever they can… They divide Hindus and Muslims; Sikhs and Christians…They also create a division among Hindus…But we don’t do it. We want unity,” she stated.

She said all regional parties must work together for better federalism even as she accused the BJP of indulging in “divisive” politics to defame Hindutva.

“All the regional parties are always in touch with each other. We want these parties should continue and grow. All the States are important to strengthen the federal structure…I don’t believe they are any threat for us (from BJP), because regional parties are enough to tackle them,” she stressed.

Asked if there was any discussion with CM Naveen Patnaik on the possible Third Front to counter the BJP at the Centre, she answered in the negative.

On the ensuing presidential poll, she said, “It is too early to comment.”

Mamata reminisced about her association with the late Biju Patnaik and said her visit to Naveen Niwas was also intended at paying the leader a homage. ‘’I knew him and he was fond of me,’’ she stated.