West Bengal Assembly election 2021, Swapan Dasgupta profile: BJP gives columnist and ex-Rajya Sabha MP ticket from Tarakeswar
In 2015, Dasgupta was awarded the Padma Bhushan for his contribution to literature and education
BJP has fielded columnist and political commentator Swapan Dasgupta from the Tarakeswar Assembly constituency in the upcoming Assembly polls.
Dasgupta is contesting against TMC’s Ramendu Singha from the constituency, which will go to polls in the third of eight phases on 6 April.
BJP’s announcement of fielding the nominated Rajya Sabha member in the Assembly polls received criticism from Opposition parties. TMC MP Mahua Moitra had tweeted that a nominated member of Rajya Sabha can be disqualified if the person joins a political party after six months from oath. He then resigned as a member of the Upper House, where his term was to end in April 2022. He was nominated as a member in 2016 by then President Pranab Mukherjee.
Dasgupta was born on 3 October, 1955 in Kolkata. After his schooling in Darjeeling and Kolkata, he graduated from Delhi University’s St Stephen’s College in 1975. He then pursued an MA and PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. Later, he went to the UK as a Junior Research Fellow at Nuffield College, University of Oxford, where he taught South Asian politics.
He has served in editorial positions in several leading English newspapers, including The Indian Express, The Times of India, The Statesman and Indian Today. He also regularly features on English news channels on debate shows. In 2015, Dasgupta was awarded the Padma Bhushan for his contribution to literature and education. In 2019, he published Awakening Bharat Mata: The Political Beliefs of the Indian Right.
Despite being initially attracted to Trotskyism, Dasgupta became a Thatcherite in his days in England. Since then, he has self-identified with centre-right politics and is known for his consistent attacks on the left-liberal commentators. He regularly gives Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) perspective on national issues in his columns for English newspapers.
The Kasba Assembly constituency lies in the Hooghly district, and is a part of the Arambagh Lok Sabha constituency.
Elections for the West Bengal Assembly will be held in eight phases, up from seven last time, beginning with polling for 30 seats on 27 March. The second phase of West Bengal's assembly elections has been scheduled for 1 April and will cover 30 constituencies, followed by the third phase on 6 April for 31 seats, the fourth on 10 April for 44 constituencies, the fifth on 17 April for 45 seats, sixth for 43 seats on 22 April, seventh phase on 26 April for 36 seats and last and eighth phase on 29 April for 35 seats.
The results of the election will be declared on 2 May.
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