Former Union Minister Kapil Sibal revealed today that he has quit the Congress party, after filing his nomination papers for Rajya Sabha as an independent candidate supported by the SP (Samajwadi Party).
“I had resigned from the Congress party on May 16,” Kapil Sibal told reporters. revealing the information that had stayed concealed since the Congress “Chintan Shivir” a week ago.
Mr. Kapil Sibal resigned a day after the Congress brainstorming session held to discuss a roadmap for the party’s revival after a series of election defeats.
This is the latest high-profile exit from the Congress party and the fifth one in the past five months.
Mr. Sibal is an ace lawyer who has represented politicians across the spectrum. He was one of the senior-most Congress leaders of the Congress and was the driving force behind the G-23 or group of 23 dissenters who had called for a complete overhaul of the party’s leadership. He had also openly told for a non-Gandhi as Congress chief.
Kapil Sibal’s Rajya Sabha term is going to end in July. In 2016, he was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh as a Congress candidate supported by the Samajwadi Party (SP), which is the ruling government in the state at that time. Now, the Congress party has just two MLAs in the Uttar Pradesh assembly so it can’t elect anyone to the Rajya Sabha from the state.
The Samajwadi Party has 111 MLAs in the 403-member UP assembly and can send 3 members to the Rajya Sabha. The BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) has 255 members and can send eight members to the upper house of parliament.
Kapil Sibal filed his nomination papers in the presence of Akhilesh Yadav, who is the chief of the Samajwadi Party.
The SP’s move to support Kapil Sibal is seen as a quid pro quo after his efforts as the lawyer of the MP Azam Khan.
The Rajya Sabha elections which are going to be held next month will include 11 seats from Uttar Pradesh.