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Congress Legal Eagle Sibal To Nest Separately In Rajya Sabha, Finds Independent Support From Samajwadi Party

In a major setback to the Congress, senior leader Kapil Sibal quit the party and filed his nomination for the Rajya Sabha as an independent candidate backed by the Samajwadi Party. SP Chief Akhilesh Yadav was present when he filed his papers. Sibal said he now wishes to be an independent voice in Parliament and added that he resigned from the Congress on May 16, a day after the Udaipur Navsankalp Shivir concluded. Sibal is the third Congress leader to quit after Sunil Jakhar and Hardik Patel. Interestingly, Sibal’s move to quit came a day after Congress President Sonia Gandhi accommodated most of the G-23 leaders in two panels she set-up as a follow-up on the Udaipur declaration. Sibal, who was the main brain trust behind the G-23 leaders’ move to demand accountability and transparency of Congress leadership two years ago, had skipped the Udaipur meet. It is being said Sibal was actually spoiled for choice as far as Rajya Sabha seat goes — RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav and JMM chief Hemant Soren were both keen to field him. Sonia Gandhi was not keen to sponsor Sibal as party candidate in the wake of his recent public averment on the leadership of the party. Gandhis are presumably upset with Sibal because of the reverses they have suffered in the National Herald case.