Noted columnist Swapan Dasgupta on Tuesday (March 16) resigned from the Rajya Sabha following a tweet from the Trinamool Congress MP, Mahua Moitra asking as to how a nominated member of the Upper House of Parliament with no association with the Bharatiya Janata Party be nominated by the party to contest Assembly election. The BJP on March 14 had fielded Swapan Dasgupta as its candidate from Tarakeshwar Assembly seat.
As per the Constitution a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha can join any political party within six months of becoming MP. But Swapan Dasgupta was among a handful of the Upper House MPs who had not joined the BJP though he used to actively participate in the activities of the party.
In his resignation letter to the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha M Venkaiah Naidu, he had requested the latter to accept his resignation by March 17 so that he could file his nomination papers at the earliest.
However, several TMC leaders in private expressed their annoyance towards Mahua Moitra’s tweet as this gave Swapan Dasgupta an opportunity to quit. Otherwise, the BJP leadership was caught off guard. Had he filed his nomination papers without resigning from the Rajya Sabha there was a possibility of the Election Commission rejecting it.
Independent analysts have expressed surprise over the hurriedness in which Swapan Dasgupta’s name was cleared without doing proper homework. Interestingly, Swapan Dasgupta himself is a renowned English journalist.