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BJP’s Swapan Dasgupta resigns from RS over nomination row

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New Delhi: BJP candidate for the Bengal election, Swapan Dasgupta, has reportedly tendered his resignation from the Rajya Sabha a day after the Trinamool Congress cited constitutional rules asserting a nominated member of the upper house could not join a political party. The columnist has been nominated as a BJP candidate from Tarakeshwar Assembly constituency in West Bengal. His term was till April 2022.

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Dasgupta sent his resignation to Chairman of the House, Vice President Venkaiah Nadu with the request that it be accepted by tomorrow.

“I have a particular status in the Rajya Sabha as a presidential nominee. 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,” Mr Dasgupta was quoted saying.

The RS member was asked for his resignation by TMC MP Mahua Moitra yesterday saying that Dasgupta was liable for disqualification from Parliament under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution of India. Moitra had tweeted that a nominated member of Rajya Sabha can be disqualified if the person joins a political party after six months from oath. She alleged that Mr Dasgupta, who was nominated by former President Pranab Mukherjee in 2016, hasn’t declared his alliance with the BJP.

“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,” Ms Moitra tweeted.

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Soon after Dasgupta’s candidature was announced by the BJP on Sunday, he had tweeted: “Honoured to be nominated by the West Bengal BJP to contest from Tarakeshwar—a centre of Bengal’s cultural heritage. I look forward to the campaign for a new, vibrant Sonar Bangla.”

However, he did not respond to Moitra’s Monday post, “I am not responding to anything. 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,” he repeated.

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As per constitutional rules, 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”.

Mr Dasgupta, a columnist and a political commentator, was nominated by the BJP as its candidate for Bengal polls, last week.

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