The second meeting of Congress Legislature Party in two days began Tuesday morning with Rajasthan's Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot turning down appeals to participate.
According to sources, however, Pilot was told by Priyanka Gandhi Vadra it was okay to not attend the meeting for now as long as he does not quit the Congress, and she also requested him to issue a statement that he still stands with the party.
According to sources, Priyanka Gandhi had called Pilot four times on Monday as the Congress top brass went all out to placate Pilot, who has declared an open rebellion against Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.
Senior party leader P Chidambaram had also reached out to the Rajasthan deputy CM again late last night, sources said. Sources told News18 that the second Congress meeting was especially called to give Pilot "another chance".
Pilot, who is in Delhi, has not been taking calls of many party leaders. AICC general secretary in-charge for Rajasthan Avinash Pande has said that Pilot has not been responding to calls and messages have been left with him.
Ahead of the meeting, Pande made another bid to reach out to the rebel leader, who had skipped the first CLP meeting at Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot's home on Monday.
Eighteen other Congress MLAs also did not attend the two meetings, according to sources. But independents and MLAs from other parties participated, expressing support for Gehlot.
Besides Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi and Chidambaram, other Congress leaders who are learnt to have spoken with Pilot are Ahmed Patel and AICC general secretary K C Venugopal.
Pilot has raised a banner of revolt against Gehlot, after the special operations group (SOG) of Rajasthan Police sent a notice to him for appearing before it in the case involving "horse-trading" of MLAs in the state. The SOG has registered an FIR in this regard and has also sent notices to the chief minister, chief whip of Congress and some ministers and MLAs.
Pilot has claimed that the Ashok Gehlot government is in minority and that he has the support of over 30 MLAs in the 200-member Assembly.