Mamata asks regional parties to unite against BJP
Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said all regional parties must work together for better federalism even as she accused the BJP of indulging in "divisive" politics to defame Hindutva.
"Our effort will be to ensure that all regional parties work together for better federalism in the country. They should be strong," Banerjee, also the president of the All India Trinamool Congress (AITMC) told reporters at Puri.
Banerjee, who is on a three-day visit to Odisha since Tuesday night, came down heavily on the BJP and accused it of indulging in divisive politics.
"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.
Claiming that she was a real Hindu who believes in taking everyone together, Banerjee said the BJP's attitude towards others was not acceptable.
"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.
Banerjee claimed that Hinduism was not something practised by the BJP and dubbed the BJP members as "black spot" on Hinduism. She alleged that they divide people instead of taking everyone together.
"I'm a Hindu but not the one who defames religion. While the Hindu belief talks about the ideology of moving forward and taking everyone along, the saffron party is acting against the ideology and defaming Hindutva," she added.
Noting that the regional parties respect all, Banerjee said, "How can the leaders of Delhi say others are bad when you are unable to take care of Delhi."
On the FIR filed against her party leaders in connection with Narada chit-fund case, she said, "These decisions are taken with evil intentions and are politically motivated. The TMC is against the BJP ideologically but they are fighting against us at a personal level. We will take up the challenge and handle the matter legally."
Banerjee is likely to meet Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik in Bhubaneswar on Thursday. Political experts said her meeting with Patnaik with whom she has always maintained cordial relations assumes significance as Banerjee is trying to unite non- BJP chief ministers and regional parties before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Banerjee visited the Jagannath temple late on Wednesday afternoon. She was greeted by the priests who took her inside the temple. She went to the sanctum sanctorum where the idols of Jagannath, Balaram and Subhadra are kept. There was enthusiasm among locals to catch a glimpse of the Bengal CM. They stood on both sides of the road leading to the temple. Banerjee walked down the street barefoot.
BJP is trying to create trouble ever since Banerjee left for Odisha on Tuesday evening. A priest of Jagannath temple said on Tuesday that the doors were closed for Banerjee for her statement on the consumption of beef. On Wednesday two BJP Yuva Morcha members were arrested when they raised " Go back Mamata" slogans. The security arrangements around the temple was tight.