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I said 'beat', not 'beat PM': Mamata Banerjee struggles with knotty problem

Jan 22 2013, 18:17 IST
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West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee
SummaryMamata blames media for distorting her statement, then clarifies remark.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today accused a section of the media of distorting her statement and clarified that she did not say that she would 'beat' the PM.

"A section of media is constantly distorting my words for their own vested interests. Yesterday I didn't say that I will beat PM," Banerjee said.

"What I said is that 'I had have met the PM ten times on the issue of fertilizer price hike. I cannot do more than this. Shall I go and beat (him up)?'" she said.

"This is what I said and a section of media is saying that I have said that I will beat PM, this is totally distorted and baseless," Banerjee said.

Yesterday, Union Minister of state for Urban Development Deepa Dasmunsi had demanded that the chief minister apologise for using 'undemocratic language' against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Banerjee said "Suppose I say 'I am rice, and I am eating rice'. Is the meaning of both statements same? I request the media not to spread misinformation and misguide the people."

She said, "In democracy I can meet the Prime Minister and talk to him, but I cannot beat him up. What wrong have I said?"

Banerjee also lashed out at the chemist shop owners association for keeping shops closed yesterday in protest against opening of fair price medicine shops in some hospitals, while inaugurating one at the SSKM Hospital here.

"Why are you opposing the opening of fair price shops? What is the harm if poor people gets medicine at subsidised prices?" she asked saying that they could also open fair price shops if they applied, but she would not tolerate blackmail. Banerjee urged junior and trainee doctors to spend at least a year in rural areas so that poor people could avail of healthcare services.

"We are also thinking of providing incentives to doctors who serve in rural areas," she said.

Stating that expectant mothers did not receive proper nutrition, she said that her government was thinking of providing vitamin supplemented food during pregnancy.

The chief minister also criticised the previous Left Front regime of not doing enough for improving the healthcare infrastructure in the state.

"The previous Left regime destroyed the healthcare infrastructure in the state. This is the main reason for crib deaths in the state," she said.

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