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Congress demands Subhas Chakraborty be dropped

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Kolkata, Apr 06 (UNI) The Opposition Congress in West Bengal today demanded that the CPI(M) drop Transport Minister Subhas Chakraborty as an election candidate following the Election Commission's action for his derogatory remark against poll officials and police.

" His utterances were terribly derogatory. He should be dropped from the election as he has no right to contest the polls, " West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee vice-president Pradip Bhattacharjee said.

Pointing out that even Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had admitted that what his Cabinet colleague had said was wrong, Mr Bhattacharjee said it was unbecoming of a Minister to utter such remarks.

The Election Commission yesterday filed an FIR with a local police station against Mr Chakraborty for his reported public outburst against poll officials and police for taking hard measure.

Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Debashis Sen filed the FIR on behalf of the EC with the Lake Town police station yesterday, levelling three separate charges under Sections 186, 189 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against Mr Chakraborty.

Under these charges, Mr Chakraborty was held responsible for obstructing government servants working as elections officials in performing their duties (IPC 186), threatening them (IPC-189) and for causing criminal intimidation to them (IPC-506) from time to time.

A video cassette to prove these charges were also submitted to the Officer-in-charge of the Lake Town police station by the CEO.

Mr Chakraborty, a veteran CPI(M) leader, is seeking re-election from Belgachia east constituency.

Trinamool Congress senior leader Sougata Roy told UNI that the Election Commission had done the right thing by initiating measures against Mr Chakraborty.

" The EC has absoulutely done the right thing. I think the harshest possible measure should be taken against him. His comment intimadating the election officials and police are unprecedented and beyond the limit of tolerance, " he said .

Mr Roy, however, said he would not comment on the propriety of Mr Chakraborty contesting the election since there was no bar on it in the law on the ground of committing the offence of intimidation.

" There is a provision in the law for a conviction of years. Let the law take its own course, " he said.

UNI KDG KK/src1719

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