Congress fails to stem exodus as Sibal quits: Leaders who left the party in 2022
Senior leaders like Jitin Prasada and Jyotiraditya Scindia, besides former Mahila Congress chief Sushmita Dev and P C Chacko, have quit in the recent past.
The Congress party has failed to stem the exodus of leaders despite some attempts to bring in structural reforms, with former Union minister and noted lawyer Kapil Sibal being the latest to bid adieu to the grand old party. Sibal, who had turned into a vocal critic of the party high command in the recent months, filed his nomination for Rajya Sabha on Wednesday with the support of Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party. Sibal told reporters in Lucknow that he had already tendered his resignation from Congress on May 16, days after the much-hyped Chintan Shivir, or brainstorming session, in Udaipur organised by Congress.
“I was a Congress leader. But not anymore. I had resigned from Congress on May 16. I am thankful to Akhilesh Yadav ji...Many people are coming together for 2024 (general elections). We will expose the shortcomings of the central government ahead of 2024,” Sibal said.
Besides Sibal, several other leaders who held senior positions in the organisation have chosen to quit Congress as infighting plagues many of its state units.
Here’s the list of leaders who left Congress this year:
Sunil Jakhar: The former Punjab Congress chief joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in Delhi last Thursday, days after quitting. Last month, Congress had removed him from all positions for alleged anti-party activities. Jakhar said he decided to leave Congress over issues such as ‘nationalism’, ‘brotherhood’ and ‘unity’ in Punjab.
Hardik Patel: The Patidar leader’s resignation didn’t come as a surprise because of his recent statements in the media. Criticising Congress and its leaders for not having a “roadmap for the people”, Patel said in his resignation letter that India wanted solutions for issues like Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, revocation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir, implementation of GST, and Congress “only played the role of a roadblock and was always only obstructive”. Now speculations are rife that he may join the BJP ahead of the Gujarat assembly elections.
Ripun Bora: The former Assam PCC chief quit the Congress party and joined the Trinamool Congress (TMC) in April. In his resignation letter, Bora pointed out the infighting within the Congress which, he claimed, had “demoralised” party workers and paved the way for BJP to grow. Bora claimed there was a “continuous inner fight by a section of senior most leaders of Assam”, which prevented Congress from getting a majority in the 2021 assembly elections.
Ashwani Kumar: Former Union minister Ashwani Kumar quit the Congress party in the middle of assembly polls in multiple states in February. Kumar said that he “concluded that in the present circumstances and consistent with my dignity, I can best subserve larger national causes outside the party fold”. He also slammed the manner in which former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh was forced to resign last year.
RPN Singh: Former Union minister RPN Singh switched to the BJP in January this year ahead of the elections in Uttar Pradesh, which the saffron party eventually won. Singh’s move came a day after he was named as a star campaigner by Congress for the assembly elections beginning in February. Between 2004 and 2014, Singh was considered part of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s inner circle, and widely seen as a next-generation leader of the party along with Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sachin Pilot, Milind Deora, and Jitin Prasada. Scindia joined the BJP in 2020, and Prasada, last year.