Kapil Sibal quits Congress, gets SP backing for RS nomination
In a huge blow to the Indian National Congress, veteran leader and former Union Minister Kapil Sibal has resigned from the grand old party. He filed his nomination as an independent candidate with the Samajwadi Party's backing for a Rajya Sabha (RS) seat from Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday. "I had resigned from the Congress party on May 16," Sibal told reporters.
Why does this story matter?
Sibal, one of the senior-most members in the Congress party, was part of the G-23 group of dissenters. The group had demanded a complete overhaul of the party's organization and leadership. Sibal had also openly criticized Gandhis' leadership, of late. Interestingly, he had represented SP's Azam Khan in the Supreme Court, who was granted interim bail in a land-grabbing case last week.
Kapil Sibal files his nomination
Khan had supported Sibal's candidature
When there were talks about the Samajwadi Party's Rajya Sabha candidate, Khan had come out in support of the party and Sibal. "I will be the happiest person if SP is thinking of fielding him (Sibal) as a party candidate for Rajya Sabha. He is competent and deserves it," Khan said on Tuesday. The election for 57 RS seats is scheduled on June 10.
Akhilesh Yadav confirms development
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav talked about the development and said, "Today Kapil Sibal filed his nomination. He is going to Rajya Sabha with SP's support. Two more people can go to the House." Yadav added that Sibal, a senior lawyer, had presented opinions well in Parliament. "We hope he'll present the opinions of both SP as well as himself," the SP chief said.
'People come and go'
The Congress played down the significance of Sibal quitting the party, and said 'people come and go from our party'. Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal indicated that no blame would be attached to Sibal for leaving. "The party is in the process of being 'completely rebuilt' after an intense three-day Chintan Shivir this month to introspect on defeats," Venugopal said.
Both Patel, Sibal were absent from Chintan Shivir
Sibal's exit comes just days after Gujarat Working President of Congress Hardik Patel leaving the party. Both the leaders had not attended the party's brainstorming event, Chintan Shivir in Udaipur earlier this month. Ironically, of all the working presidents, the party had only invited Patel to the event.