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Buddha speaks to PM, blames media

india Updated: May 11, 2008 01:38 IST

West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee spoke to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over phone on Saturday seeking to clear the air in the wake of the Marxist leader's criticism of Singh's leadership.

Bhattacharjee is understood to have told Singh that he held him in high regard and the media had "misquoted" him.

Bhattacharjee had in the last two days was quoted as saying Singh had "failed" on all fronts and Congress under his leadership lost a series of assembly elections in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and other states.

"I repeat what I have said. I did not try to denigrate the Prime Minister. I have high respect for him. Unfortunately, he is heading a government which is failing to perform on all fronts," Bhattacharjee had told reporters in Kolkata on Sunday.

The Prime Minister brushed aside charges that he had failed to check prices and hindered West Bengal's growth, saying issues were being politicised because of elections.

"This is politics. We are getting nearer to the elections. Therefore, issues are being politicised," Singh told reporters on the sidelines of the Civil Investiture ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Saturday.