In an apparent attempt at damage control a day after her remarks directed at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on whether it was expected that she “beat” him up evoked strong reactions, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wondered here on Tuesday what was “wrong” with her utterance.

As for the way her comment was interpreted she blamed a section of press for spreading lies and only partially reporting the facts.

“What I said [at Monday’s meeting] was that I have met the Prime Minister seven-eight times regarding the financial position of the State. I can only meet the Prime Minister in a democratic way; I cannot beat him up. What is wrong? I did not say that I will beat him,” she said at an event at a State-run hospital.

At a rally at Canning in the State’s South 24 Parganas district on Monday Ms Banerjee had said: “….I have met the Prime Minister ten times. I cannot do anything more than that… I cannot simply beat him up”

If she did she would be charged of having “turned a goonda,” Ms. Banerjee had said, adding: “[But] without having done anything I have turned [read perceived as] a goonda. I do not mind that….For the sake of the people I am willing to take it to the last.”

Accusing a section of the media for misreporting her remarks at Monday’s rally she asked: “Is it not a crime?” “Do not mislead the people….If you do so because of your business [compulsions] please do not call yourself neutral.” Ms. Banerjee advised against making an “issue of petty occurrences like a dog biting someone.”