Mamata Banerjee to critics: ‘Dogs bark at king’

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Thursday hit back at her critics with the remark "raja chale bazaar, kutta bhouke hazaar" (the king walks unperturbed as dogs bark).

The comment is believed to have been aimed at a letter by Press Council of India chief Markandey Katju.

In the letter, Katju reportedly said, "Your ministers and bureaucrats are afraid to speak their minds fearlessly before you, and are terrorised by your unpredictable and whimsical behaviour. To say the least, this is a very unhealthy state of affairs, and you will not be able to remain chief minister for long unless you change your ways and become more tolerant."

When reporters asked Mamata about the letter, she denied receiving it. Her comment elicited sharp reactions. CPM's Surya Kanta Mishra said, "It is so unfortunate. The chief minister used the language of the underworld."

"We are not used to hearing such language from a chief minister. But she should not assume that such reactions from will intimidate others. The complaints will keep flowing in," said Pradip Bhattacharya, president of West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee.

Katju's letter

In his letter to Mamata Banerjee, Markandey Katju has said: "We are human beings and we all make mistakes, but a gentleman is one who realises his mistake and apologises. You should also apologise to Tanya Bharadwaj, who you insulted on the CNN IBN show."

The letter added: "Your ministers and bureaucrats are afraid to speak out their minds fearlessly before you and are terrorised by your unpredictable and whimsical behaviour. To say the least, this is a very unhealthy state of affairs, and you will not be able to remain chief minister for long unless you change your ways and become more tolerant."

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