Former Union minister Kapil Sibal said on Wednesday that he resigned from the Congress party on May 16, ANI reported.

Sibal filed his nomination for the Rajya Sabha election as an Independent candidate with the support of the Samajwadi Party on Wednesday.

The Samajwadi Party is expected to nominate three candidates for the Rajya Sabha elections in all, according to The Times of India. The elections will be held on June 10 and the results will be declared later on the same day.

On Wednesday morning, the former Congress leader said that he had always wanted to be an independent voice. “While staying in Opposition, we want to create an alliance so that we can oppose the Modi government,” he added.

Sibal told The Indian Express that he did not want to talk about why he chose to leave the Congress.

“Now that I am not in the Congress party I do not wish to say anything adverse, anything that is inconsistent with the culture of politics that we must embrace,” he said. “Within the Congress, I could say what I wanted to say. Now that I am not in the Congress I do not wish to criticise anybody in the Congress.”

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said that Sibal had brought up several important matters in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha in the past, the Hindustan Times reported..

“The country has many issues facing it and I hope that he will effectively put issues in the Rajya Sabha,” he added.

Sibal was earlier a part of the Congress’ Group of 23, or G-23, which had in August 2020 written a letter to party chief Sonia Gandhi pushing for sweeping internal reforms. Since then, the G-23 has called for inclusive leadership and changes in political strategy in the Congress on many occasions.

In September, Sibal had held a press conference after the party’s Punjab state unit chief at the time, Navjot Singh Sidhu, resigned from his post. The former Union minister had said that there was no clarity on who was taking decisions within the party.

After the press conference, members of the Youth Congress from Delhi’s Chandni Chowk area held protests outside Sibal’s home. The former Union minister had represented the Chandni Chowk Lok Sabha constituency from 2004 to 2014.

The protestors threw tomatoes and damaged his car. They also shouted slogans such as “leave the party, come to your senses” and “Rahul Gandhi zindabad [long live Rahul Gandhi]”.