TMC writes to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla seeking disqualification of MP who joined BJP

KOLKATA: The Trinamool Congress has urged Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla to disqualify party MP Sunil Kumar Mondal, who switched sides to the BJP in December.

In a letter to Birla, the TMC’s Lok Sabha leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay said that steps should be taken under anti-defection law against Mondal who had “voluntarily” given up membership of the party and joined the BJP at a rally of Union Home Minister Amit Shah on December 19.

Mondal, the MP of Bardhaman Purba constituency, termed the move by the TMC as “vindictive”.

“Although no express resignation has been received by the Trinamool Congress from the said Respondent (Mondal), yet the conduct of the Respondent in acting and participating in the rally is prejudicial to the interests of the Trinamool Congress,” Bandyopadhyay said in the letter.

It is evident that Mondal has given up membership of the party, he said.

The TMC leader cited a Supreme Court order which had stated that “even in the absence of a formal resignation from membership, an inference can be drawn from the conduct of the member that he has voluntarily given up his membership of the political party to which he belongs.”

“In the above circumstances, I request you to take necessary steps for declaration that the respondent has become subject to disqualification under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution,” the letter said.

The Tenth Schedule lays down the process by which legislators may be disqualified on grounds of defection by the Presiding Officer of a legislature based on a petition by any other member of the House.

Describing the move by his former party as “vindictive”, Mondal alleged that during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, he had faced “sabotage” from a section of the TMC against whom no action was taken as they are now well ensconced in the party.

Mondal had in 2011 left the CPI(M) and joined the Forward Block.

He joined the TMC in 2014 and after winning from Purba Bardhaman seat became an MP for the first time in 2019.