Bhubaneswar: India’s federal structure should remain permanent and strong, said Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik after meeting his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee at his residence on Thursday afternoon.
Banerjee, who was in Odisha on a three-day trip, met Patnaik here at Naveen Niwas before returning to Kolkata.
Briefing media persons after the meeting, Patnaik said: “Today’s meeting was a courtesy call and there was a nice informal discussion. There was no in-depth discussion on serious political matters. The federal structure in India should remain permanent and strong.”
Banerjee said: “We have discussed democratic rights and the nation’s safety. Let’s hope that our people should be safe and sound. As Naveenji said, our federal structure should be very strong and strengthened. I appreciate and strongly support this.”
Asked about any discussion on formation of a possible third front for the next election, she replied, “Why are you in a hurry for the election. Still one year is there.”
She has invited Patnaik to her state. “We both are neighbouring states. Whenever there is a cyclone in Odisha, it also impacts West Bengal, that is the situation. We have maintained a very very good relationship and it is a golden legacy,” Banerjee said.
She thanked Patnaik for handing over 2 acres of land in Puri for construction of Biswa Bengal Bhawan for accommodation of tourists from West Bengal.
She also requested Patnaik for development of an industrial corridor between the two states for smooth transportation of iron ore from Odisha for West Bengal industries.