Sachin Pilot, the former Rajasthan deputy chief minister, whoserevolt spelt uncertaintyfor the ruling Congress in the state, reached out to the party leadership in Delhi and held a meeting with Rahul Gandhi on Monday, according to people aware of the developments.
A leader from the Pilot camp confirmed to HT that a meeting took place for over two hours at Gandhi’s residence at 12, Tughlaq Road. He said Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who has been in contact with Pilot, too, was present.
“The Gandhis did save the day for the (Ashok) Gehlot government,” said the leader quoted above. “They (the Congress leadership) assured Pilot that all issues that he had would be looked into.’’
Another leader privy to the details told HT that a committee may be announced to look into the unresolved issues between Gehlot and Pilot, who have had a series of differences since the Congress coming to power in the state in December 2018.
Through the day, representatives of both sides held follow-up meetings to hammer out the details of a truce agreement. An announcement is expected soon.
The big question is now whether Pilot will go back to Rajasthan or if he will be accommodated in the central Congress leadership. When asked, his side, however, did not rule out Pilot attending the upcoming session of the Rajasthan assembly beginning August 14. “It is on the 14th; so there is time left. We will be making an announcement soon,” leaders in the Pilot camp said.
The second leader told HT that Pilot had agreed to give up his aspirations of being Rajasthan chief minister for now. However, there was no confirmation of this from Pilot’s side.
Another senior Congress leader aware of the developments sounded hopeful about the possible deal. “…since they met, a positive outcome is expected,” the third leader said.
The developments take place exactly a month after Pilot and 18 dissident Rajasthan legislators left Jaipur and rebelled against chief minister Ashok Gehlot.
It was Pilot who sought an appointment with former party chief Gandhi, according to leaders privy to the details, who also said the now-dismissed Rajasthan deputy chief minister has been speaking to senior leaders Ahmed Patel and KC Venugopal in what is being seen as an apparent softening of his stance.
This was the first time that Gandhi met Pilot since the latter left Jaipur after the state police issued him a show-cause notice in a case involving a plot to bring down the government.
Pilot has till now insisted on the removal of Gehlot as chief minister as a pre-condition for any sort of rapprochement, while the Co