Rajasthan deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot has skipped the second meeting of Congress MLAs on Tuesday, despite several senior party leaders reaching out to him to end his dispute with chief minister Ashok Gehlot.
Unmoved by the Congress’ olive branch, Pilot has remained unreachable while the 18 MLAs in his camp stayed put at a hotel in Manesar, amid reports that he is in talks with the BJP.
The Congress top brass had gone all out to placate Pilot as Priyanka Gandhi Vadra called him up four times on Monday and senior leader P Chidambaram reached out to the deputy CM late on Monday night, sources said.
Just before the meeting, which was postponed by an hour, Congress national general secretary Avinash Pande also appealed to Pilot and his supporters to join the second Congress Legislature Party meet.
The meeting was announced several hours after the first one ended on Monday afternoon, skipped by Pilot and 18 other party MLAs.
While the Congress top brass tried to pacify Pilot, the Rajasthan unit took a more hardened approach after he skipped the first meeting of legislators on Monday morning. A resolution passed by the MLAs called for "strict disciplinary action" against anyone who did anything to weaken the government or the party.
Tuesday’s meeting is being held at a resort where Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and other MLAs are camping since Monday.
He told reporters that a second chance is being given to Pilot and hoped that all MLAs come and extend solidarity to the leadership for which people voted to ensure development of the state.
Congress leader Randeep Surjewala had announced the second CLP meeting as the top leadership expressed the desire to woo back dissidents led by Pilot.
Party leaders had said that 106 of the 122 MLAs attended Monday's meeting, a claim contested by the Pilot camp.
Pilot and his supporters claimed to have the backing of 30 Congress MLAs and some independents and even demanded a floor test in the Assembly to make the situation clear.
Pilot has been upset since he was denied the Rajasthan chief minister's post after the December 2018 assembly elections.