NEW DELHI: In yet another setback for the Congress, former Union minister Kapil Sibal
on Wednesday said he had tendered his resignation to the party on May 16.
Sibal announced his departure from the Congress shortly after filing his Rajya Sabha
nomination papers as an independent candidate, with the backing of the Samajwadi Party
SP chief Akhilesh Yadav
was present during the filing of the papers.
"I filled the nomination (for Rajya Sabha elections) as an independent candidate. I am thankful to SP chief Akhilesh Yadav that he supported me. I also wish to convey my gratitude to Azam Khan for the support that he has given me, not just now but over several years," Sibal said, adding: "It is important to be an independent voice. While staying in Opposition we want to create an alliance so that we can oppose the Modi government."
"Today, Kapil Sibal filed his nomination papers. He is going to Rajya Sabha with SP's support. Two more people can go to the House. Kapil Sibal is a senior lawyer. He has presented his opinions well in Parliament. We hope he'll present opinions of both SP as well as himself," said Akhilesh.
The possibility of Sibal’s name as the SP’s choice for Rajya Sabha had gained momentum ever since the Supreme Court lawyer took up Azam Khan’s case in the apex court and finally got him out last week. "If he (Sibal) managed to pursue Azam Khan’s bail successfully and got the party veteran out of jail, the party should send him to the Upper House,” a senior party leader had said.
Sibal was part of a group of 23 leaders (G23) who had spearheaded an attempt to bring in fundamental structural changes in the Congress. Other names on the list
With poll schedule for 11 Rajya Sabha seats from Uttar Pradesh out, hectic parleys have begun within the SP to shortlist candidates who will be in the fray to make it to the Upper House. The SP will nominate three candidates.
Discussions are also under way on the candidature of the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Jayant Chaudhary. Some party leaders have also proposed the name of Dimple Yadav
, former Kannauj MP and wife of SP chief Akhilesh Yadav.
Meanwhile, Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party
(SBSP) chief Om Prakash Rajbhar
is also believed to be looking forward to a meeting with Akhilesh Yadav on the issue. High-profile exits
Sibal's resignation comes just days after high-profile exits of Hardik Patel and Sunil Jakhar from the Congress.
The party had recently held a Chintan Shivir aimed at devising ways to revive the party. People come and go: Congress
Reacting to Sibal's exit, Congress general secretary KC Venugopal said that "people come and go from our party" and did not blame anyone for the move.
"He had already written a letter to the party president. The letter says that he firmly believed in the values of the Congress. He said nothing else. People come and go from our party. This is a big party," Venugopal said.
He added that the party will soon be "completely rebuilt" and intends to undergo a comprehensive reorganisation. "A lot of guidelines are being formulated and each person will have a task," he said at a press conference. (With inputs from agencies)Watch Kapil Sibal: 'Had tendered my resignation from the Congress party on 16th May'