Lucknow: Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal who was critical of Rahul Gandhi chose to contest independently for Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
The former minister has reportedly garnered the support of Samajwadi party.
Claiming that he had resigned from the Congress on May 16, Sibal filed the nomination in the presence of Samajwadi party Chief Akhilesh Yadav.
Kapil Sibal's quitting will leave the congress greatly emaciated in terms having fewer recognizable faces at the national level.
Akhilesh Yadav and Kapil Sibal denied the latter having joined the Samajwadi Party.
Sibal reportedly said that he had filed as an independent candidate. He said he always wanted to be an independent voice in the country.
Sibal is known to be close to the Yadav family as a senior advocate. Back in 2017, Sibal argued before the Election Commission in favour of Akhilesh Yadav getting the " Bicylce symbol' during the Yadav family feud.
Kapil Sibal, a minister in UPA government, was of late critical of the Congress party, arguing for functional changes.
Kapil Siba went for SP despite both RJD and JMM offered to support him for RS seat.
The SP needs Sibal to reach out to Azam Khan who is upset with the party and whose case Sibal is fighting in the courts.
In 2016, Sibal was a Congress candidate to be elected to the Rajya Sabha from UP, with the support of SP.
Since the Congress has only two MLAs in the state Assembly, it is not in a position to elect anybody.
In UP, where the election to 11 seats is due, the BJP can win seven and the Samajwadi Party three seats - and the latter will still have 20 surplus votes. However, problem will arise for the 11th seat if the BJP fields its eighth candidate, which will necessitate an election.
At which point the surplus votes will be key. However, the ruling BJP has an advantage as it needs less than 10 votes but the opposition is short of 15 votes.
As Sibal is legally involved in court cases of JMM and Samajwadi Party leaders in various high courts and the Supreme Court, it is being speculated that the parties might support his candidature.
The Congress can elect eight Rajya Sabha members from Rajasthan, Karnataka, Haryana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and two more can come with support of allies in Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand.
Anand Sharma, Ghulam Nabi Azad and P. Chidambaram are hopefuls. Sharma is hoping to be elected from Haryana, but sources say Kumari Selja and Randeep Singh Surjewala are contenders too.
Chidambaram may get a renomination from his home state of Tamil Nadu.