Nominated by the President of India, Dasgupta joined the House on April 25, 2016 and his term would have lasted till April 24, 2022. But, he has to quit his membership now that he has decided to represent a political party, following Rajya Sabha rules for “nominated” members.
However, Dasgupta’s resignation comes two days after his candidature was announced and a day after Trinamool Congress MP Mohua Moitra flagged the issue of his disqualification from the Upper House. Moitra raised objections to Dasgupta being named as a BJP candidate for the assembly polls in Bengal.
“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,” Moitra tweeted on Monday night.
Swapan Dasgupta is BJP candidate for WB polls. 10th Schedule of Constitution says nominated RS member to be disqua… https://t.co/yo7Kn92yi8
— Mahua Moitra (@MahuaMoitra) 1615820496000
TMC was planning to submit a petition on Wednesday for Dasgupta’s disqualification. TMC chief whip in Rajya Sabha and senior party leader Sukhendu Sekhar Roy had already worked on the draft petition that TMC planned to submit to the RS chairman M Venkaiah Naidu, before which Dasgupta resigned from his nominated membership.
“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,” Dasgupta said on Twitter on Tuesday. Sources said he has urged the Chairman of Rajya Sabha to accept his resignation with effect from Wednesday.
I have resigned from the Rajya Sabha today to commit myself totally to the fight for a better Bengal. I hope to fil… https://t.co/a5JOXiztOC
— Swapan Dasgupta (@swapan55) 1615880873000
Asked about his resignation, Dasgupta told journalists, “I have always said whatever necessary steps will have to be taken will be done by me before I submit my nomination papers (for West Bengal polls).”
After Dasgupta’s resignation, Moitra tweeted saying: “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 (Para 2 (3),” she also tweeted.
She also claimed that Dasgupta should “either resign RS now or be disqualified” and said he has “no safety net”.
According to the Tenth schedule of the Constitution, a nominated member of a house can join a political party before the expiry of six months from the date on which he takes his seat after complying with requirements of Article 99 or, as the case may be, Article 188.
“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,” the rule says.