| Chakraborty campaigns in Calcutta on Thursday. Picture by Amit Datta
Calcutta, April 6: Subhas Chakraborty need not worry about being arrested in the near future.
North 24-Parganas police said today that the video clipping submitted by the Election Commission (EC), which shows Chakraborty making 'intimidatory' remarks against election officials, was not enough for them to take action against the transport minister.
'There are many factors to be taken into account before we take any action. This is not a complaint concerning theft or dacoity. Moreover, the charges have been levelled against a senior state minister. So, we need other circumstantial evidence to prove the allegation against Chakraborty,' said district police superintendent Praveen Kumar.
Chakraborty, while addressing an election rally at Kalindi near Lake Town, had said that government officials on poll duty were acting like 'EC stooges' despite being on the state's payroll.
Taking strong exception to the comments, the poll panel had asked chief electoral officer (CEO) Debashis Sen to lodge a police complaint against Chakraborty.
Kumar said a probe into such cases takes time. 'I cannot say when the inquiry will be wound up. But we are trying our best to expedite it.'
Joint CEO N.K. Sahana said: 'The EC has not fixed any time frame for the police to complete the inquiry and submit a report. It may take a week or several months.'
It was up to the police to complete the investigation, he added. 'Our duty ends with filing the complaint with the Lake Town police station as directed by the EC. Now, we shall not intervene in the work of the police.'
Jyoti Basu said tonight that Chakraborty would pray for bail if an arrest warrant was issued against him. 'If bail is rejected, Subhas will contest the Assembly polls from jail,' the former chief minister said.
CPM sources said the party would discuss its strategy vis-'-vis the complaint against Chakraborty and other issues concerning the EC at tomorrow's meeting of the secretariat ' the party's highest decision-making body at the state level.
'The manner in which the EC and its observers are acting on the basis of complaints from the Trinamul Congress and the Congress is really a matter of concern for us. Our next course of action will be chalked out at tomorrow's meeting,' said a CPM functionary.
However, the CPM leadership has asked Chakraborty and urban development minister Asok Bhattacharya not to comment on the poll panel and its observers.
'Our fate is like Saurav's (Ganguly). The Election Commission is acting like Greg Chappell and Kiran More,' Bhattacharya had said at a news conference in Siliguri on April 4.