Kapil Sibal resigns from Congress: Akhilesh Yadav sets him for Rajya Sabha

25 May, 2022 | Riya Girdhar

In a letter to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Kapil Sibal was one of 23 dissenters who called for a complete overhaul of the party's leadership and organisation.

Former Union Minister Kapil Sibal announced his resignation from the Congress today, just moments after filing his nomination papers for Rajya Sabha as an independent candidate backed by the Samajwadi Party.
“I resigned from the Congress party on May 16,” Kapil Sibal declared, astounded the media with information that had remained hidden since the Congress “Chintan Shivir,” or strategy meeting, a week ago.

When confronted with questions, he remarked, “I am no longer a serious Congress leader.”

This is the fifth high-profile departure from Congress in five months. Mr Sibal resigned a day after the Congress held a brainstorming session to discuss a strategy for the party’s revival following a string of crushing election defeats.

“As an independent candidate, I have filed my papers. It is critical to have an independent voice in parliament. People will believe that if an independent voice speaks up, it is not affiliated with any political party “Sibal stated.

Sibal, a senior Congress leader, was among the “G-23,” or group of 23 dissenters, who called for a complete overhaul of the party’s leadership and organisation in a letter to party president Sonia Gandhi two years ago.

In recent months, he had also been vocal and increasingly harsh in his criticism of the Gandhis’ leadership.

His term in the Rajya Sabha expires in July. In 2016, he was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh as a Congress candidate supported by the state’s ruling Samajwadi Party. With only two MLAs in the UP assembly, the Congress cannot elect anyone to the Rajya Sabha from the state.

In the presence of Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, Sibal filed his nomination papers.

The Samajwadi Party’s decision to back Sibal is seen as a payback for his efforts as party MP Azam Khan’s lawyer.