Regional parties must unite: Mamata
Amid talks of a grand alliance to counter the BJP, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday urged regional parties to unite.
"All regional parties should come together and move ahead with greater strength maintaining good relations with each other. Our effort will be to unite them," Banerjee told reporters in Puri.
The Chief Minister is on a three-day visit to Odisha. She is likely to discuss the matter with her Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik on Thursday.
"I have sought time for meeting with Naveen Patnaik. If permitted, I will meet him before leaving Odisha," she said.
Janata Dal-United leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his colleague Sharad Yadav, who attended the funeral of former Lok Sabha Speaker Rabi Ray, had met Patnaik.
Banerjee criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party for creating differences between different regions.
"BJP believes in divide-and-rule policy on the basis of caste, religion and language. We don't follow that. For us, all religions are equal. Being a true Hindu and a believer of secularism, I won't allow the BJP to spread hatred and divide people," she said.
Banerjee rejected all charges against her party leaders and MPs in a chit fund case, saying it was a conspiracy by the BJP to malign the Trinamool Congress.
"Since we are opposed to BJP ideologically, they are deliberately doing this. They should fight us politically," she said.
On Tuesday, the Trinamool leader met party MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay, arrested by the CBI for alleged links with the Rose Valley chit fund scam, at the Apollo hospital here.