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Nominated RS MP Swapan Dasgupta can be disqualified if he joins BJP: Mahua Moitra

TMC MP cites rulebook, says Dasgupta can be disqualified if he files nomination

mahua-moitra-swapan-dasgupta-pti Collage: TMC MP Mahua Moitra, Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta | PTI

Two days after the BJP announced it was fielding journalist and Rajya Sabha member Swapan Dasgupta among its candidates for the coming West Bengal Assembly elections, Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Mahua Moitra has said he could be disqualified for filing nomination as a BJP candidate under the Constitution’s 10th Schedule.

“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, sharing the relevant section from the Constitution of India.

According to Para 2 (3) of the 10th Schedule of the Constitution of India, “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.”

As per the Rajya Sabha website, “A member nominated to the House by the President, however, is allowed to join a political party if he/she does so within the first six months of taking seat in the House.”

Other nominated members who joined the BJP within the six-month deadline include Subramanium Swamy, Rupa Ganguly, Rakesh Sinha, Sonal Mansingh and Raghunath Mohapatra, noted author Swati Chaturvedi in a Gulf News article.

While Dasgupta was nominated by the President to the Rajya Sabha in 2016, he is currently listed as a nominated member not affiliated to a party on the RS website. On March 14, BJP announced it was fielding him as a candidate in Tarakeshwar.

Responding to a comment saying TMC should give notice to the chairman of the Rajya Sabha requesting him to disqualify Dasgupta, Moitra said, “Doing that”.

She later tweeted a picture of Dasgupta’s nominated statues on the Rajya Sabha website 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))”.

THE WEEK reached out to Dasgupta but he was unavailable for comment.

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