Giving a major jolt to the Congress, senior leader Kapil Sibal has quit the grand old party today. As per the media reports, he is all set to join Samajwadi Party and will be nominated to Rajya Sabha on SP ticket from Uttar Pradesh. Mr Sibal, one of the senior most leaders in the Congress, had been part of the “G-23” panel who had called for a complete overhaul of the party’s leadership and organization, and had also been vocal about the criticism of the Gandhis’ leadership in recent weeks.
“I had resigned from the Congress party on May 16. It is important to be an independent voice in parliament. If an independent voice speaks up then people will believe it is not from any political party,” said Kapil Sibal to the media personnel.
From 2014 till now, a lot of bigshots have left the Congress party and joined another parties. It started with Chaudhary Birendra Singh, former Union Minister in UPA govt, who left the Congress party and joined the BJP in 2014. After that, senior leader and “chanakya” of northeast politics – Hemanta Biswa Sarma left the grand old party and joined the BJP in 2015, who is now the Chief Minister of Assam, leading the BJP govt.
In 2017, SM Krishna, former CM of Karnataka, had left the Congress party and joined the BJP.
Meanwhile, in March 2020, former union minister and senior leader Jyotiraditya Scindia had left the Congress party and joined the BJP, due to which the Kamalnath govt fell short of majority in Madhya Pradesh assembly and the BJP came to power with Shivraj Singh Chouhan as the Chief Minister.
Before the Punjab Assembly Elections 2022, the infighting in the Congress party had led to then CM Capt Amarinder Singh’s resignation from CM post and the party later on, who made his own party “Punjab Lok Congress” and aligned with the BJP in the assembly elections.
Luizinho Falerio, the former Goa Chief Minister, left the party just before the 2022 state polls and joined the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress. Before Falerio, Sushmita Dev, former Congress MP from Assam’s Silchar and daughter of Congress stalwart Santosh Mohan Dev, Lalitesh Tripathi, the Congress Uttar Pradesh vice president and great-grandson of former UP Chief Minister Kamlapati Tripathi, and Abhijit Mukherjee, the son of former President Pranab Mukherjee, also lefr the party. Whereas former Union minister Jitin Prasada also quit the party in June 2021 and joined the BJP, who recently took oath as the Uttar Pradesh Cabinet minister under the leadership of CM Yogi Adityanath.
Just a few months back, senior Congress leader Ripun Bora left the party and joined the Trinamool Congress in Assam, whereas recently, Congress stalwart Sunil Jakhar, son of former Lok Sabha speaker Late Balram Jakhar, has also left the party and joined the BJP, giving a big jolt to the grand old party in Punjab, while in Gujarat, Patel youth icon Hardik Patel has recently left the party.
As per an analytical report by the National Election Watch and the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), from 2014 to 2021, a total of 222 electoral candidates left the Congress to join other parties, while 177 MPs and MLAs quit the party during this period. Now with Jakhar, Kapil Sibal, Hardik Patel, and some state level leaders from Rajasthan, Gujarat and other states, the tally of these defections continues to increase, which is a serious matter of concern for the Congress party.