Kapil Sibal quits Congress, files as Independent for Rajya Sabha

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Senior leader and former union minister Kapil Sibal has quit Congress party two years after initial rumblings of dissent. He has filed nomination for the coming Rajya Sabha elections as an independent candidate supported by Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party (SP).

“I had tendered my resignation on May 16,” he told reporters in Lucknow, adding, “I have filed my nomination as an independent candidate. It is important to be an independent voice in Parliament. If an independent voice speaks up then people will believe it is not linked to any political party”.

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Accompanying him for the filing of nomination papers, SP chief and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said, “… We hope that the questions in the country, such as rising unemployment, inflation, failing law and order, our borders are not safe…on several such big issues Sibal ji will be able to present the SP’s and his views”.

“There comes a time  when you want to break free from diktats of a political party and become independent. I want to move forward and look to the future,” he said, adding, “It will certainly be my effort to bring the Opposition together ahead of the 2024 polls to take on the BJP”.

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The resignation of Sibal, one of the most high profile leaders in the Congress, may also cripple the G23, the ginger group of senior leaders who had sent a letter to party chief Sonia Gandhi in August 2020 seeking sweeping changes in the party’s structure and leadership.

In the last few months, several senior leaders such as Ashwani Kumar, R.P.N Singh and Shatrughan Sinha have quit the party, the most recent being Punjab leader Sunil Jakhar.