.........BHUBANESWAR: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday slammed the BJP for playing divisive politics and urged the regional parties to come together to stop the saffron party’s surge in the country.The Trinamool Congress chief, who arrived here on Tuesday on a three-day visit, also said she may meet Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik even as speculations of a non-BJP Third Front alliance are rife.
Mamata, who faced protests from a section of servitors of Sri Jagannath Temple at Puri for her views on beef consumption, visited the 12th century shrine. Heavy security arrangement was made for her visit.
Talking to mediapersons at Puri, Mamata said she is a staunch Hindu and believes in secular values. “I practice Hinduism, but not like others (BJP) who bring the religion a bad name,” Mamata said, adding that the national party is playing divisive politics on the basis of religion.
“It’s about time the regional parties of the country are united against BJP,” she said and added that she will meet Naveen and discuss the matter on Thursday.
“They (BJP) wanted to divide the nation in the name of religion, region and caste. They pit Hindus against Muslims, Christians against Hindus, Odias against Bengalis, Biharis against Bengalis, and so on ... This is not Hinduism,” she alleged.
“According to them (BJP), the Odisha government is bad, the Bengal government is bad, the Bihar government is bad and all non-BJP state governments are bad. How are you good if you go on dubbing others bad,” she said.
On Mahanadi water issue, Mamata said the BJP is supporting Chhattishgarh as it is a BJP-ruled State.
Asked about the Narada sting operation in which the CBI has initiated a probe against 12 Trinamool Congress leaders and one IPS officer, Mamata said it is a political vendetta by the BJP.
“It is an old case which is being used to target TMC which came to power only in 2011. However, the party would fight the political vendetta legally,” she said.
Describing herself as a devout follower of Lord Jagannath, Mamata said there is a strong bond between Odias and Bengalis who throng Puri throughout the year. Besides, people of the two States are connected through tourism.Mamata on Tuesday had visited two TMC MPs Sudip Bandyopadhya and Tapas Paul at Apollo Hospitals here where they are receiving treatment. The two were arrested by the CBI in connection with chit fund scam earlier.