"I can always hiss if I can't bite," this was Trinamool Congress Mamata Banerjee's remark after her six ministers quit the UPA government on FDI and other 'people' related issues.
Banerjee was referring to a folklore on Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa, the spiritual guru of Swami Vivekenanda.
Ramakrishna is believed to have advised a cobra, whom he had told not to bite people, that it could frighten away people by hissing.
"I can always hiss if can't bite. If the people's rights are endangered we will hiss. We can bow our heads to Ma, Mati, Manush, but not to the arrogance of power," she said at a state government water project at Tallah Park.
"Maa, Maati, Manush (people, land mother) are assets of our democracy. I will bow before them but I will never give in to those displaying arrogance of power," she said at a function.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee with MP Saugata Roy at an event in Kolkata. PTI photo
"There is no use threatening us, for we too can strike back," she added.
The chief minister, said "When we are shouted, the louder will be our protest. We roar when intimidated. This is our pride.
"We may be poor, but we have dignity. People are the main assets of democracy. What Bengal thinks today, the world thinks tomorrow," Banerjee said.
Her comments come in the wake of the divorce between her Trinamool Congress and the Congress both in the state and in New Delhi.
Trinamool ministers Friday resigned from the government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in protest against economic reforms.
The Congress has also decided to quit the Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal.
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