Congress veteran Kapil Sibal on Wednesday announced that he has resigned from the Congress as he filed his nomination for Rajya Sabha elections, in the presence of Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow. Sibal has filed the RS nomination as an independent candidate and is yet to join the Samajwadi Party.
After filing the nomination, Sibal said that he quit the Congress on May 16. “It is important to be an independent voice in parliament. If an independent voice speaks up then people will believe it is not from any political party,” he said.
“I’ve filed nomination as Independent candidate. I have always wanted to be an independent voice in the country,” he added.
A member of the G-23 group of Congress dissenters and one of the party’s senior-most leaders, Sibal has also removed the mention of the Grand Old Party from his Twitter profile.
Sibal is one of the three candidates which the Samajwadi Party will be sending to the Upper House. Reports claims that deliberations are underway over the names of RLD chief Jayant Chaudhary and former Kannauj MP and wife of Akhilesh Yadav, Dimple Yadav.
Buzz over Sibal’s name as Samajwadi Party’s choice for Rajya Sabha gained momentum ever since the senior advocate took up the case of SP strongman Azam Khan, who walked out of jail earlier this week.
Heaping praise on Sibal, Khan had Tuesday said: “I will be the happiest if the party (SP) is thinking of fielding him (Sibal) as a candidate for Rajya Sabha. He is competent and deserves it.”
Sibal also helped Akhilesh retain the party’s bicycle symbol in 2017 when the first family was locked in an intense family feud, probably the worst in the SP’s existence.
The election for 57 Rajya Sabha seats, spanning across 15 states, will be held on June 10. Uttar Pradesh sends a total of 31 members to the Upper House, of which 11 are set to retire on July 4.
This will include five from the BJP, three from Samajwadi Party, two from BSP and one from thr Congress. At present, the BJP has a strength of 22 while SP has five members in the Rajya Sabha. BSP and Congress have three and one members respectively.
Sibal’s exit from the Congress adds to the party’s woes as it faces existential crisis amid unending poll debacles across states. Among other leaders who quit the Congress in the recent years include Jitin Prasada, Prema Khandu, Himanta Biswa Sarma, Hardik Patel Jyotiraditya Scindia, Aditi Singh and Kirti Azad.