Kolkata: A day after Press Council of India chairman Markandey Katju's letter called Mamata Banerjee "intolerant and whimsical", the West Bengal Chief Minister on Thursday slammed her critics, including the media.
Speaking at an official function in Kolkata, Banerjee denied receiving Katju's letter.
NDTV quoted Banerjee as saying: "I know some people are doing bad name against of this government, negative campaigning they are doing because they have vested interest. Let them do. We don't care. Raja chaley bajar to kutta bhowkay hajar, karney do. Mujhey koi jarurat nahi hai koi dhyan deney kay liye. Kaun kya kaam kartey hai, who sabko pato hai. Aur negative publicity ko positive may lay ayenge, kaam kartey kartey. Agar hamko kaam karney ka mouka hai aur kaam karney ka ichcha hai, then I don't care anybody. In my life, I have fought enough (When the king goes to the market, dogs bark, let them do it. I don't need to pay attention to them. Everyone knows who does what work. We will turn all the negative publicity into positive, we will keep on working. If we really want to work, then I don't care anybody. In my life, I have fought enough).”
Outraged over Banerjee’s remarks, CPM leader SK Mishra said: "Raja chaley bajar, kutta bhowkay hajar - that means all of us. Not only Opposition. Whether it is media, or Justice Katju or some common villagers, anybody who criticises the government. The language she has used, I have no language to condemn. I have no language to register my protest.”
Justice Katju had written a letter to Banerjee, seeking action against policemen who arrested Jadavpur University professor Ambikesh Mahapatra and farmer Shiladitya Chowdhury, the first for circulating a cartoon of the Chief Minister and the second for questioning her policies.
The former Supreme Court judge also said that former joint commissioner of police Damayanti Sen be restored to her earlier office, from which she was removed after she cracked a rape case on Park Street.
"We all make mistakes but a gentleman is one who realises his mistake and apologises.”
"I request you to act against the policemen who ordered and implemented the arrest of Mahapatra and Chowdhury, you should immediately withdraw the cases against them and apologise to them."
Katju said Banerjee's ministers and bureaucrats "are afraid to speak out their minds fearlessly before you, and are terrorised by your unpredictable and whimsical behaviour".
First Published: Friday, November 30, 2012, 09:54