- Kapil Sibal, a long time Congress leader, has resigned from the party
- Sibal filled nomination papers for the Rajya Sabha term with the support of Samajwadi Party
- Sibal said he dreams of bringing all opposition parties together in fight against the BJP in 2024
Kapil Sibal, a long-time Congress leader who announced his resignation from the party on May 16, on Wednesday filed his nomination from the Rajya Sabha as a Samajwadi Party-backed Independent candidate from Uttar Pradesh.
Sibal, whose exit is another jolt for the electorally battered Congress that has seen a spate of high-profile resignations, said he dreams of bringing all opposition parties together in the fight against the BJP in 2024.
Refusing to speak against the Congress, a party he has been with for three decades, he said he bears it no ill-will and is not far from the party and its ideology.
The former Union minister went to the Uttar Pradesh assembly premises to file his papers with SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, Ram Gopal Yadav and other senior leaders by his side.
A prominent member of the ‘G23’ grouping of leaders, which had sought an organisational overhaul in the Congress, Sibal's tenure as the party’s Rajya Sabha MP ends on July 4.
Speaking on his exit from the Congress party, Sibal said, "no political party gives liberty to leaders which's the tragedy of Indian Parliament. There is no concept of a whip in any other parliament across the world. We may have a different point of view but we can't express them & are often confined while being in a party."
"I still say that we all hold to the ideology of Congress which is the ideology of an inclusive India. This is the ideology of the entire opposition and we will move forward on the basis of that," Kapil Sibal said.
As Sibal came just as another jolt for Congress, a look at 5 big exits from the grand-old party in recent times.
Former Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar
Kapil Sibal is the fifth high-profile exit from the Congress this year as he parted ways with the party and filed his Rajya Sabha nomination as independent candidate with Samajwadi Party backing from the state of Uttar Pradesh.
Prior to Sibal, former Punjab Congress Chief Sunil Jakhar had left the party only to join the BJP.
Sunil Jakhar after joining the BJP had said that it was not easy to break 50 years of relationship with the Congress. "From 1972 to 2022, my three generations considered Congress as their family. Stood with the party in every good and bad time. But an attempt was made to suppress my nationalist voice in the Congress. I was given a notice for speaking in the interest of Punjab and the country," he said.
Former Law Minister Ashwani Kumar, ex-Union Minister RPN Singh, Hardik Patel
Former Law Minister Ashwani Kumar and ex-Union Minister R.P.N. Singh too parted ways with the Congress and lately Hardik Patel, the Gujarat Congress working president, too left the party.
Gujarat Patidar leader Hardik Patel too has hit out at the party on hindutva issue and alleged that the Congress party is working to hurt the sentiments of the people. It always tries to damage the faith of Hindu religion.
Former Law Minister Ashwani Kumar was upset with the party leadership and parted ways saying, "I was feeling uncomfortable, helpless and ignored for the last many months and I understood that now I am not needed in the party. Therefore, I distanced myself. I was not able to do whatever I wanted to do by staying inside the party. That's why I decided to fulfil my duty and now I can do what I feel comfortable to do." He had predicted loss for the Congress in Punjab.
Similarly, R.P.N. Singh quit the Congress ahead of UP polls and joined the BJP. Several others bade adieu to the party including Punjab ex-Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Jitin Prasada last year who were once considered close to Gandhis.