Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Sunday described Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi as a "young man" and said the media had distorted his comments about seeking the Left support to form a government after the Lok Sabha polls.
Banerjee, who ruled out her joining the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) after the polls, claimed the Congress was neither too keen and nor would it need the Left parties' support to form a coalition government.
"Rahul Gandhi is a young man. His comments have been distorted... I don't think the Congress is very keen to go with the Communist Party of India-Marxist (or other Left parties)," Banerjee said at a meet-the-press in the Kolkata Press Club.
"He has only said that the Congress will provide support to the Left to form a government if the group got 180 seats. The Left is not contesting even that many seats. So the matter ends there," she said.
Earlier this week, Banerjee had threatened to snap ties with the Congress if it took support from the Left after Gandhi commented that his party would not be opposed to shaking hands again with the Communists.
To pacify its new ally, the Congress had then gone into a overdrive, telling the Trinamool chief that it had no plans to engage with the Communists - Trinamool's foremost foe.
A day after CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat indicated that Banerjee could be headed to the NDA if the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) failed to come to power, she said, "We always maintain transparency. We have an alliance with the Congress. So, we will not go to the NDA, or the BJP or the CPI-M."
Banerjee said the UPA could form a government on its own, without the Left support.
Ridiculing the talk about the Third Front, which includes Left parties, forming the next government, the Trinamool chief said, "How will they form a government? How will such a situation emerge? After all, they are going to draw big zeroes in their strongholds of Kerala, Tripura and West Bengal. That's the reason they are torturing people now."
Banerjee said her party will play a constructive role after the polls in helping to form a stable and "secular" government which can safeguard the country's security and integrity.