Mamata's remarks on PM trigger controversy

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, even offering to take a stick to him for the common man’s cause.

Addressing a rally at Canning in South 24 Parganas, around 50 kms from here, Banerjee said: “They have increased the price of fertiliser thrice.

I met the prime minister at least 10 times between 2010 and 2012 to discuss the fertiliser price hike. They had decontrolled it in 2010 and increased the price of fertilisers several times. They never regulated it.

“What else I can do? Should I go and beat him up? If I do that then you will call me a goon. I have already been labelled a goon without doing anything that is socially objectionable. I don’t mind doing anything for the sake of the common people.”

Though the Trinamool Congress tried to play down Banerjee’s comments, describing them as an “expression of her own frustration and not an attempt to humiliate the prime minister,” the remarks have sparked an outrage.

Calling Banerjee “intolerant,” Minister of State for Urban Development, Deepa Dasmunshi, said: “This kind of words from a chief minister is unacceptable. We demand an immediate apology. We will launch a state-wide protest against her.”

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