Mamata Arrives in Odisha to Meet Naveen

Bhubaneswar: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee arrived here on Tuesday on a three-day trip to the neighbouring state during which she is scheduled to meet her Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik, officials said. Banerjee was received at the at Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) here by Odisha’s Minister of State for Home T K Behera.

“Naveen Patnaik ji is a senior leader, and I have a programme to meet him on Thursday,” she told reporters after her arrival in Puri from the Odisha capital. Banerjee will stay at Nirman Nivas in the seaside pilgrim town for two nights. “Adequate arrangements have been made for her stay in Puri,” Superintendent of Police K V Singh said.

The Bengal CM is likely to have an hour-long discussion with Puri district officials at 3 pm on Wednesday, and visit the Shree Jagannath Temple to offer prayers at 4 pm, the officials said. On Thursday, Banerjee will reach Bhubaneswar around 4.30 pm and meet Patnaik at his residence before leaving for Kolkata, they said.

Meanwhile, sources in West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress said the two non-BJP CMs may hold discussions on strategies for next year’s Lok Sabha polls. “Banerjee is the driving force behind the anti-BJP thrust. The two chief ministers could discuss strategies for the 2024 general elections when they meet,” a senior TMC leader said.

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