April 24, 2017

Regional parties enough to tackle BJP: Mamata

21 April 2017, 02:02 | Austin Hogan

Regional parties strong enough to tackle BJP: Mamata Banerjee

CM shuns privilege on way home

When she had first brought up the idea of a federal front - as a counter to big players BJP and the Congress - Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was a key potential member.

Asked if the regional parties perceived threats from the BJP, the WB chief minister clarified that there was danger whatsoever from the saffron party but the regional parties needed to work together.

Coming down heavily on the BJP, she said the party (BJP) divides people and split political parties, a tactics that the regional parties do not resort to. "Courtesy call. No politics discussed", he said.

"They divide Hindus and Muslims, they divide Hindus and Sikhs and even Hindus".

"All the regional parties are always in touch with each other".

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The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday reacted to this meeting and alleged that the understanding reached between West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik during their meeting was based on a "common bonding of corruption" while highlighting the Saradha chit-fund scam. We want these parties should continue and grow. But both states are on the BJP's radar and a federal front, by any name, may just have taken baby steps. Look, he (Naveen) is Odisha Chief Minister and I belong to West Bengal. They (regional parties) are strong enough. "We believe in unity", she told the media here.

On the ensuing presidential poll, she said, "It is too early to comment". I knew him very well.

The two chief ministers, who spoke to the press together, maintained that their meeting was not political in nature and it was out of courtesy.

Asked about Satpathy's call to withdraw high profile security from VIPs, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik supported him and said, "There is no harm in doing away with this (high security)". His father Biju Patnaik was very fond of me.

Responding to a poser on having discussions on forming an alliance to stand against the BJP, Patnaik said they did not have any talks regarding the same.

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