Bhubaneswar, April 18:

Senior BJP leader and Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram on Tuesday said West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik have an “unholy nexus” and dubbed both as “sinners” of the multi-crore-rupee chit fund scam.

Oram’s statement came ahead of the three-day visit of Banerjee, also the Trinamool Congress chief, to Odisha on Tuesday.

“Naveen Patnaik and Mamata Banerjee are equally sad following the arrest of their leaders in the chit fund scams. So, they are meeting repeatedly to share their sorrows. Perhaps, both may enter into an alliance,” said Oram.

The minister said they were meeting frequently to console each other and evolve ways and means to counter the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Some of their chit fund-tainted leaders were either in jail or on bail. “Their leaders, cine-stars and party workers have duped the people. They would be punished for their sin,” he added.

Reacting to the meeting of the two leaders for a possible alliance to counter the BJP at the national level, Oram said: “Hundred lame persons can’t take on a strong fighter.”

Recently, both Chief Ministers had met in New Delhi. Banerjee is likely to meet Patnaik during her Odisha visit.

However, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday said there was no plan yet to meet his West Bengal counterpart.

On the allegation of BJP dubbing the frequent meetings as an “unholy nexus”, Patnaik said: “That’s absolutely false and baseless.”

Banerjee, scheduled to arrive in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday evening, will visit Puri to have darshan of Lord Jagannath on Wednesday morning. She will also meet the arrested party MPs in hospital.

Trinamool MPs Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Tapas Pal, who were arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation for their alleged links with the Rose Valley chit fund scam, are in hospital, said sources. (IANS)