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Swapan Dasgupta Restored To Rajya Sabha After Bengal Poll Defeat

Swapan Dasgupta contested from Bengal’s Tarakeswar, a Trinamool stronghold. (File)

New Delhi: Former journalist Swapan Dasgupta, who quit his Rajya Sabha seat to contest in the Bengal assembly polls as part of the BJP and lost, was renominated today to the seat he vacated. The government made the re-nomination today in what the Congress said was a “first”.

A Home Ministry notification this evening read: “In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-clause (a) of clause (1) of article 80 of the Constitution of India, read with clause (3) of that article, the President is pleased to renominate Shri Swapan Dasgupta to the Council of States to fill the seat which has fallen vacant due to his resignation for his reminder term viz – 24-04-2022”.

The President nominates renowned personalities to the Upper House on the advice of the government. The nominated members are drawn from fields such as literature, science, sports, art and social service.

Senior Congress leader and former Union minister Jairam Ramesh tweeted: “I think this is the FIRST time since the Rajya Sabha came into being in 1952 that such a thing has happened.”

Mr Dasgupta had contested from Bengal’s Tarakeswar – a Trinamool Congress stronghold — on a BJP ticket in the recently concluded assembly polls. But he was among the large number of BJP candidates who had to bite the dust as Mamata Banerjee retained power with a majority bigger than even 2016.

The former journalist had been among the MPs drawn into the battle for Bengal as the BJP scoured for credible faces for the urban voters.

But the Trinamool Congress pointed out that constitutional rules say he would be disqualified if he joined a political party. Trinamool MP Mahua Moitra tweeted that nominated members of the Upper House can be disqualified if they join any political party six-months after they take oath.

“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,” her tweet read.

Mr Dasgupta then stepped down from his Rajya Sabha seat where his term was valid till April 2022.

“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,” the 65-year-old had tweeted.

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