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Is Rahul Gandhi like a bird? Mamata Banerjee thinks so!

September 20, 2010 19:06 IST

Trinamool Congress chief and Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said she is not a 'seasonal flower', in another apparent snipe at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who recently visited West Bengal.

Mamata also said she does not do politics from a 'bed of gold'.

"Amra dumurer phool noi (We are not a seasonal flower rarely seen) that we will appear like cuckoos before elections, chirp and fly away," Mamata said on Sunday without making any direct reference to the young All India Congress Committee general secretary.

"The road I travel is at my finger tips. I know its characteristics. Throughout the year, I am with the people. I know their problems and they know me. I understand their language," she said.

Pointing to her life style, she said "I wear hawai chappals because I like wearing them and not because someone says so."

While addressing a party rally at Nanoor in Birbhum district where 11 partymen were killed allegedly by Communist Party of India - Marxist members a decade ago, she said, "We do not do politics from a bed of gold. We do politics standing on the ground round the year. We hold rallies with the people in the summer heat and the monsoon rain," she said.

Taking umbrage at Mamata's remarks, West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee chief Manas Bhunia on Monday told a party rally in Burdwan district that Rahul, during his visit, did not hurt anybody's self esteem and that she should not have used such language.

"If some people think that our leaders chirp like the cuckoo before elections and then disappear, they are wrong. I request such leaders not to use such language. Bengal knows the meaning of respect," he said.

On Mamata's comment that she did not do politics from a 'bed of gold', Bhunia recounted the contributions of the Nehru-Gandhi family and said both Jawaharlal Nehru and Kamala Nehru had worked for the country, while Indira Gandhi and her son Rajiv Gandhi had laid down their lives for it. "It is their blood that is running in Rahul Gandhi's veins," he said.

The TC leader at a rally in North Bengal recently had said she was not a cuckoo which appears only in the spring. Gandhi, when asked for his reponse to the cuckoo remark at his press conference last week, ignored the barb and replied, "Do I look like a bird? I don't think Mamata Banerjee was referring to me."

Gandhi had also made it clear that his party favoured an alliance with Banerjee in next year's assembly elections, but 'we are not going to bow our heads'.

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