Swapan Dasgupta on Tuesday resigned from the Upper House after questions were raised about his contesting the West Bengal Assembly polls on BJP ticket despite being a nominated MP.
“I have resigned from the Rajya Sabha today [Tuesday] 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,” Mr. Dasgupta said.
Mr. Dasgupta found himself in a tight spot after Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra pointed out that he, a nominated MP, should be disqualified from the Upper House of Parliament.
“Swapan Dasgupta is BJP candidate for WB polls. 10th Schedule of Constitution says nominated RS member must 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,” she tweeted on Monday, sharing the specific clause of the 10th Schedule.
In a series of tweets, Ms. Moitra also shared screenshots from the Rajya Sabha website which states that Mr. Dasgupta is a nominated member. “Following up on my previous tweet — Rajya Sabha website as of today says Swapan Dasgupta is nominated & not formally BJP. If he files nomination as @BJP candidate, he should be disqualified according to the Constitution’s 10th Schedule.”
Mr. Dasgupta was nominated to the Rajya Sabha in April 2016 and his term expires in April 2022.
Congress chief whip Jairam Ramesh too has reportedly written to Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu seeking clarification on the issue.
“The issue will be addressed by me before I file my nomination. I have not filed my nomination as yet. Whatever has to be done, if anything has to be done it will be done before I file my nomination papers,” Mr. Dasgupta told The Hindu minutes before announcing his resignation. He has however started his campaign in Tarakeshwar.
Elections to the seat in Hooghly will be held in the third phase on April 6 and the last date for nomination is March 19.