Congress leader Kapil Sibal, who on Wednesday announced his resignation from the party, claiming he wanted to “be an independent voice in the Rajya Sabha”, was a key member of the party’s Group of 23 (G23) who demanded overhaul. Following the poor performance in the elections.
Sibal’s statement, Wednesday, came after he submitted nominations for the Rajya Sabha elections with the support of the Samajwadi Party, in the presence of Akhilesh Yadav.
His resignation comes on the heels of the resignations of Sunil Jakkar and Hardik Patel from the Congress, which recently held ‘Sheffer Shentan’ in Udaipur.
Earlier, Sibal said in a press conference that the Group of 23 “is not Ji Hazur 23” and will continue to put forward views and will continue to repeat the demands.
Here’s all about Group 23, the congressional dissident group:
What is G-23?
In August 2020, 23 senior Congress leaders wrote to interim chairwoman Sonia Gandhi requesting active leadership and organizational reform and demanding overhaul in light of repeated failures in the Lok Sabha and state elections.
They remained resolute in their demands, with leaders including Ghulam Nabi Azad and Kabil Sibal, challenging the party’s position on several occasions.
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Former Prime Ministers:
Bhubindar Singh Hooda: He is the Leader of the Opposition in the Haryana Legislative Assembly. He served as Chief Minister of Haryana twice from 2005 to 2014.
Rajinder Kaur Bhatal: She was the Chief Minister of Punjab in 1996. In January 2004, she was the Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab.
Marbadi Virapa Moeli: Chief Minister of Karnataka in 1992. He also served as Minister of Law twice.
Prithviraj Chavan: Chief Minister of Maharashtra in 2010.
Ghulam Nabi Azad: He was the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir from November 2005 to July 2008.
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Kapil Sibal: He has served as Additional Advocate General of India and President of the Bar Association of the Supreme Court on three occasions. He also held several ministries.
Manish Tiwari: He also held the position of Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting.
Vivek Tankha: He was one of the youngest public defenders in Madhya Pradesh and played a key role in resolving disputes between Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
Others and senior leadership
Other signatories include AICC office holders and CWC members Mukul Wasnik and Jitan Prasada, former union ministers Anand Sharma, PJ Kurian, Ajay Singh, Renuka Choudhury, Milind Deora, MP Shashi Tharoor and Sandeep Dixit.
Former Presidents of the Communist Party of China Raj Babbar (UP), Arvinder Singh Lovely (Delhi), Kaul Singh Thakur (Himachal), former Haryana President Kuldeep Sharma, former Delhi President Yoganand Shastri and former MP for Motihari Akhilesh Prasad Singh.
While Prasada, Shastri and now Sibal left the party, Shankarsinh Vajila, Prinit Kaur, Muhammad Ali Khan and Mani Shankar Ayar joined the group.
Sibal was outspoken in his criticism of the Congress leadership and called for a new party chief who was not Gandhi.
While presenting his papers, he said, “We are all constrained by the fact that we are party members and have to adhere to the discipline of this party but it is important to have an independent voice. We want to form a coalition and oppose the Modi government. We want to create an atmosphere in which we can oppose the BJP. I will personally work from order that.”
To chart the future course of the Congress, Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday set up three political affairs groups to guide on key issues, the 2024 Task Force to implement the “Nav Sankalp” Udaipur Declaration and another to coordinate the October 2 “Bharat Gudu” Yatra.
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Gandhi absorbed the leaders of the Group of 23 through various groups.
Rahul Gandhi and two prominent members of Group 23 – Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma – are in the Political Affairs Group.
The members of Task Force 2024 are B Chidambaram, Mukul Wasnik, Jiram Ramesh, KC Venugopal, Ajay Makin, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Randeep Singh Surjwala and Sunil Kanogulu.
The central planning group for coordinating the “Bharat Gudu Yatra” includes Digvijaya Singh, Sachin Pilot, Shashi Tharoor, Ravneet Singh Betu, KJ George, Guti Mani, Pradut Bordoloi, Jeetu Batwari and Salim Ahmed.
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