Swapan Dasgupta on Tuesday resigned from the Rajya Sabha amid growing calls for his disqualification. News agency ANI reported that his resignation had been sent to the Chairman of the House, and was yet to be accepted.
Dasgupta had been a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha, appointed by the President in April 2016. But while he had not been a formal member of the BJP over the last few years, he was recently nominated as the BJP candidate for the Tarakeshwar seat in the upcoming West Bengal Assembly election. And as several Opposition leaders noted, this did not fall in line with the Indian Constitution.
According to the Tenth Schedule, "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".
Since the BJP released their list of poll candidates, Both the Trinamool Congress and the Congress have called for his disqualification from the upper house.
"He was sworn in April 2016, remains unallied. Must be disqualified NOW for joining BJP," reminded TMC MP Mahua Moitra.
"You did not announce any such resignation in these past few days. I need not say any more," wrote Congress Chief whip in Rajya Sabha, Jairam Ramesh, in a letter to Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu.
Dasgupta had told Indian Express that he would respond to the charge "appropriately" if he received any letter from the Rajya Sabha. Since then, he has shared on update on Twitter explaining that he had resigned to "commit myself totally to the fight for a better Bengal".
Moitra however was quick to respond to news of his resignation, thanking him and wishing him will for the upcoming West Bengal polls.