Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik denies receiving letter from Mamata Banerjee

New Delhi: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday denied receiving any letter from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who wrote to all Opposition leaders and chief ministers calling for a united fight against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled Centre.

He said that his party’s priority is the development and welfare of Odisha.

“I haven’t received a letter let. We stand for the development and welfare of our state. That’s what our party stands for,” said Patnaik when asked about Banerjee’s letter to Opposition leaders and CMs of non-BJP ruled states for an anti-BJP Opposition front.

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Earlier in the day, Banerjee wrote to all Opposition leaders and chief ministers calling for a united fight against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled Centre.

She alleged that the BJP repeatedly attacked the federal structure of the country.

“I am writing to you to express deep concern over direct attacks on this country’s institutional democracy by the ruling BJP. Central agencies such as the ED, CBI, Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and the Income Tax Department are being used to target, harass and corner political opponents across the country for vendetta. During the recently concluded Winter Session, Parliament bulldozed through the Delhi Special Police (Amendment) Bill 2021 as well as the CVC (Amendment) Bill 2021, in the midst of an opposition walkout. These laws enable the Centre to extend the tenure of the directors of ED and CBI up to five years in blatant violation of a previous Supreme Court judgment,” Banerjee stated in her letter.

The Odisha Chief Minister had visited the Parliament earlier today to meet the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MPs and several other leaders. Patnaik is on a three-day tour of the national capital.

Speaking to media persons in the Parliament, the five-time Odisha Chief Minister said, “So far there has been no proposal or discussion on a Presidential candidate for the upcoming presidential polls.”

Asked if the Opposition will put up a consensus candidate, he said, “I have neither thought anything about it nor do I have any proposal so far.”

The BJD has nine MPs in Rajya Sabha and 11 MPs in the Lok Sabha. The regional party carries a lot of political significance when it comes to the passage of crucial bills and also the elections for key Constitutional posts. The BJD is often seen as a fence player and extended its support to the BJP-led NDA government.

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