Mamata loses cool, walks out of TV programme

Last Updated: Sat, May 19, 2012 17:44 hrs

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, known for losing cool over uncomfortable questions, Friday walked out of an interactive TV programme following a barrage of questions over the arrest of a professor for forwarding a cartoon depicting her.

Banerjee, while referring to the arrest of Jadavpur University's Ambikesh Mahapatra, said: "We all love cartoons. What he circulated was not a cartoon. He (professor) is a CPI-M (Communist Party of India-Marxist) man. He misused the e-mail of his housing society without the permission of the residents."

Mahapatra, a professor of physical chemistry, in his 50s, was arrested last month for allegedly circulating defamatory cartoons of some Trinamool Congress leaders including Banerjee.

"The message in the cartoon said 'vanish'. It is a political conspiracy to murder me," said Banerjee in the interactive session organised by an English news channel.

When a student of Jadavpur University wanted to ask a question, Banerjee shot back: "Why (students from) other universities are not hereIJ There are so many universities."

She even asked the student whether she was a Maoist. The student retorted: "I am not a Maoist."

When told that she had supported the Maoists after their leader Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad was killed, an infuriated Banerjee replied: "This is not correct. We did not support the Maoists."

Enraged by the questions, Banerjee suddenly pointed at the students sitting in the audience and said: "They are CPI-M cadres. I am not going to reply. I will reply to questions from common people. I am sorry to say you belong to CPI-M. You are SFI cadres."

Before storming out, Banerjee told the moderator: "You did not tell me before."

More from Sify: