Rajya Sabha member Swapan Dasgupta on Tuesday resigned from the Upper House of Parliament as Opposition parties raised questions about him contesting the West Bengal Assembly elections on Bharatiya Janata Party ticket despite being a nominated MP, reported ANI.
His resignation has been sent to Rajya Sabha Chairperson Venkaiah Naidu and is yet to be accepted.
Dasgupta tweeted about the development as well, saying that he had resigned to commit himself “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,” he wrote.
Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra on Monday evening said that Dasgupta should be disqualified from the Upper House under the Constitution’s 10th Schedule. Pointing out the rules, Moitra tweeted that her party will submit notice to the Rajya Sabha chairperson to seek his disqualification.
The Congress had also sought clarification from Rajya Sabha chairperson.
A member nominated to the House by the President is allowed to join a political party if he/she does so within the first six months of taking seat in the House. “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,” reads paragraph 2 (3) of the 10th Schedule of the Constitution of India.
According to the Rajya Sabha website, Dasgupta was nominated by the president to the Upper House in 2016 and he is currently a nominated member not affiliated to any party. His term was till April 2022.
Dasgupta has reportedly requested that his resignation be accepted by Wednesday, according to NDTV.
“I have a particular status in the Rajya Sabha as a presidential nominee,” he told the news channel. “I am contesting this election as a BJP candidate from Tarakeshwar. Naturally, between two things, there are a lot of outstanding issues. The nomination process involves resolving all these. And all these issues will be resolved by the time I file my nomination. I haven’t yet filed my nomination. I hope to do so either on Thursday or on Friday.”
Dasgupta, however, refused to comment on Moitra’s tweet. “I am not responding to anything,” he told NDTV. “I am just saying that there are a lot of outstanding issues, a lot of clearances which we have to get from various institutions including parliament before you file your nomination. And all these will be secured before I file my nomination.”
On March 14, the BJP announced that it was fielding Dasgupta from the Tarakeshwar Assembly seat in Hooghly district. Voting for the 294-seat West Bengal Assembly will be held in eight phases from March 27 to April 29. The results will be announced on May 2.