Days after the Congress party has held a major restructuring measure 'Chintan Shivir' in the party with the hope to fix the political crisis, the party has now lost a major wicket as veteran leader Kapil Sibal has quit and joined the rival camp. Sibal, a renowned lawyer and former Union minister, was a crucial part of G23 leaders in the Congress party who dissented against the central leadership.
Sibal's exit has come at a high time when Congress has formed an electoral committee to prepare the party for the polls. He had been a staunch critic of the Congress leadership and has been spurring a voice against the Gandhis' command in the party. Surprisingly, after quitting the Congress party, Sibal had joined Samajwadi Party in the presence of its leader Akhilesh Yadav, and he inked a deal.
As per the deal, the Samajwadi Party will offer its support for Sibal's Rajya Sabha candidacy from Uttar Pradesh. He announced that he has quitted the Congress on Wednesday- May 25 and he was spotted at the Uttar Pradesh Assembly where he had filed his nomination for Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh. He was accompanied by Samajwadi party leaders including Akhilesh Yadav and Ram Gopal Yadav.
Sibal's exit is expected to give a blow to the Congress party's high command and it has also been expected that voices against the Gandhis would grow in the G23, now G22 consortium. Sibal's tenure as Rajya Sabha MP will end in July. Speaking to the reporters in Lucknow after filing his nominations, he said, "I have filed the nomination as an Independent candidate. I thank Akhilesh Ji for supporting me." "I resigned from the Congress on May 16 and I am no longer a senior Congress leader", he added.
On why he had decided to quit the Congress, he cited that it is important to have an independent voice. He said, "We are all constrained by the fact that we are members of parties and have to abide by the discipline of that party but it is important to have an independent voice." Indirectly slamming Congress for not having an atmosphere to fight against the BJP regime, he said that his baton would work for creating such an atmosphere.
He said, "We want to make a coalition and oppose the Modi government. We want to create an atmosphere in which we can oppose the BJP. I will personally work towards that." Furthermore, by referring to the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, Sibal has asserted that there should be an atmosphere where the shortcomings of the Modi government can reach the people.
Welcoming Sibal, Samajwadi chief Akhilesh Yadav said that the former Congress leader is being supported by the Samajwadi Party. Yadav has stated, "Kapil Sibal is a senior leader and a known lawyer. He had been in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and put his point across well everywhere. I hope he will put his views on big questions of rising inflation and China." Recently, Samajwadi had won a significant number of seats in the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls and currently, it is the opposition party in the state.
Sibal's exit from the Congress has come close to the resignations of Sunil Jakhar and Hardik Patel from the Congress. Speaking to India Today, Kapil Sibal said, "I told Akhilesh ji that I wanted to go to RS (Rajya Sabha) and to please support me as an Independent. After 30 years, it was time to quit and work as an Independent, would not speak against Congress now at any point. I have a good relationship with many opposition leaders. My wife says we have a connection with Uttar Pradesh."
#WATCH | Kapil Sibal filed nomination for Rajya Sabha elections, with the support of SP, in presence of party chief Akhilesh Yadav & party MP Ram Gopal Yadav— ANI UP/Uttarakhand (@ANINewsUP) May 25, 2022
He says, "I've filed nomination as Independent candidate. I have always wanted to be an independent voice in the country" pic.twitter.com/HLMVXYccHR