Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee once again lost her temper in front of journalists on Wednesday when a reporter challenged her claim that 50 per cent of the shops in Kolkata city were open on the first day of the two-day all-India general strike called by Central trade unions. “You are crossing your limit… Have you come here for politics?” Ms. Banerjee asked angrily after the journalist said that not a single shop was open along a particular stretch in the city.

She asked the journalist which media house he represented and when he told her about it, she said it was natural for him to argue given the newspaper he worked for.

Ms. Banerjee then said, “You have your freedom of speech... you can express your views freely in your newspaper,” adding that she had never opposed anyone writing against her. “Many from [TV] channels of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) come here. But I never push them out.”

Later, she said she did not want speak to the media “because of its attitude”.

Earlier this month, Ms. Banerjee threatened to “slap” “uncivil” photojournalists at an event in Bardhaman district.

On February 6, a policeman deployed for her security was at the receiving end of her anger. Ms. Banerjee said he “should be whipped” when she had to wait for her car to leave the venue where the 37th Kolkata International Book Fair was held.