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Featured Image: Mamata Banerjee and Naveen Patnaik exchange bouquets at Bhubaneshwar on Thursday afternoon. Photo courtesy: AITC 

Newsmen Bureau

Kolkata, 20 April: BJP is hardly a political threat and united regional parties can easily defeat it, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said after calling on Odisha Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal president Naveen Patnaik at his Bhubaneshwar residence today afternoon.

“I don’t think BJP is a threat. Regional parties are enough to tackle them,” Mamata said addressing reporters after the 10-minute meeting with Patnaik.

Asked whether a grand alliance of all anti-BJP parties was possible for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, she however maintained that it was too early to comment on that. “But secular parties are secular and are always in touch. We want to strengthen the federal structure of the country and all states are important.”

Mamata hit out at the BJP saying that the saffron party was indulging in “divisive” politics. “They want to divide the country in the name of religion, region, and caste. They pit Hindus against Muslims, Christians against Hindus, SC/STs against general caste. They are even dividing Hindus. We don’t do it. We want unity,” she said.

The Odisha CM also addressed the reporters briefly. “I am very glad that the honourable Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee came for a courtesy call. I have invited her to the foundation laying of West Bengal Bhavan in Puri,” a cautious Patnaik said.

After the meeting with the Odisha CM, Mamata took a return flight from Bhubaneshwar airport and landed in Kolkata early in the evening.