Congress seeks clarification on Swapan Dasgupta’s candidature for assembly polls
The Indian National Congress—the largest Opposition party in the Rajya Sabha—has sought clarification from chairman Venkaiah Naidu about nominated MP Swapan Dasgupta contesting in West Bengal assembly polls. In a letter to the Rajya Sabha chairman, Congress chief whip Jairam Ramesh pointed out that Dasgupta has neither resigned from the House before contesting election nor has he joined any party.
Dasgupta’s name was announced as the BJP candidate from Tarakeshwar assembly constituency on Sunday.
The Congress’ move comes after Trinamool MP Mohua Moitra alleged that Dasgupta has violated the 10th Schedule of the Indian Constitution.
Congress chief whip in the Rajya Sabha Jairam Ramesh’s letter to Naidu said, “Can a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha who has not formally joined a political party within six months of nomination and continues as a non-party, nominated member contest elections to Parliament or the assembly without first resigning as a nominated member?”
He added, “You did not announce any such resignation in these past few days. I need not say any more”.
Dasgupta was nominated to Rajya Sabha by President of India in April 2016. According to the 10th Schedule that deals with disqualification of MPs, “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.”
Articles 99 and 188 of the Indian Constitution relate to oath-taking of lawmakers.
On Monday, Moitra had tweeted, “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.”