Amid row over his candidature, BJP candidate Swapan Dasgupta resigns from Rajya Sabha
On Tuesday, Swapan Dasgupta, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s candidate for the Bengal election, resigned from the Rajya Sabha. His resignation came just a day after the Trinamool Congress stated that a nominated member of the upper house could not join a political party.
Swapan Dasgupta is a columnist and a political commentator. Last week he was named by the BJP as a candidate for the Tarakeshwar assembly constituency in West Bengal. On Monday, Swapan submitted his resignation letter to Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu. He sent the letter with a request that it be accepted by tomorrow.
Dasgupta announced his resignation on social media. He wrote on the micro blogging site, “I have resigned from the Rajya Sabha today to commit myself totally to the fight for a better Bengal. I hope to file my nomination as BJP candidate for the Tarakeshwar Assembly seat in the next few days.”
I have resigned from the Rajya Sabha today to commit myself totally to the fight for a better Bengal. I hope to file my nomination as BJP candidate for the Tarakeshwar Assembly seat in the next few days.
— Swapan Dasgupta (@swapan55) March 16, 2021
Rajya Sabha secretariat officials confirmed that they had received Dasgupta’s letter.
In April 2016, the columnist was nominated to Rajya Sabha by President of India. His term was till April 2022.
After he was named by BJP as their candidate for the Tarakeshwar seat in Bengal’s Hoogly district, two opposition leaders cited constitutional rules and said that a nominated member of the upper house could not join a political party.
Dealing with the disqualification of MPs, the 10th Schedule of the Indian constitution states, “A nominated member of a House shall be disqualified for being a member of the House if he joins any political party after the expiry of six months from the date on which he takes his seat after complying with the requirements of article 99 or, as the case may be, article 188.”
On Monday, Trinamool MP Mahua Moitra tweeted regarding the same and asked for Swapan’s disqualification. On Tuesday morning, Congress MP, Jairam Ramesh also sought to know if Dasgupta has resigned.
Swapan Dasgupta is BJP candidate for WB polls.
10th Schedule of Constitution says nominated RS member to be disqualified if he joins any political party AFTER expiry of 6 months from oath.
He was sworn in April 2016, remains unallied.
Must be disqualified NOW for joining BJP. pic.twitter.com/d3CDc9dNCe
— Mahua Moitra (@MahuaMoitra) March 15, 2021
Several party leaders said they were not sure whether Dasgupta has taken formal membership of the party. Though Dasgupta never formally joined BJP but he still has been associated with the saffron party.