After hours of discussions with both Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot and party leader Sachin Pilot, the Congress high command on Monday, 29 May, said that the two warring state leaders have agreed to a "peace proposal" by the party high command.
Putting up a united front, Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal, Gehlot, and Pilot addressed the media but refused to divulge details of the said proposal. Neither Gehlot nor Pilot spoke at the briefing.
"In view of the upcoming Rajasthan elections, Congress President (Mallikarjun Kharge) and Rahul Gandhi ji had a long discussion with Ashok Gehlot ji, Sachin Pilot ji. We have decided to fight elections unitedly. Both agreed that the Congress party has to fight the elections together. Both leaders, Gehlot Ji and Pilot ji agreed to the proposal," Venugopal said.
When asked about the proposed 'formula', Venugopal said: "Both leaders left it to the high command. The high command will take the decision, both have agreed, don't worry about that."
Marathon meetings through the day: The press briefing followed a marathon of meetings through the day as both Gehlot and Pilot held discussions with party president Mallikarjun Kharge and party leader Rahul Gandhi.
While Kharge and Gandhi, along with Venugopal, state Congress president Sukhjinder Randhawa and other central leaders held a two-hour long meeting with Gehlot first, discussions with Pilot followed. A joint discussion between both leaders was also held later.
Gehlot's stand: Ahead of the meeting, Gehlot on Monday said the party high command will "never offer any position to any leader or worker to pacify them."
"There is no such tradition in the Congress where a party leader demands a position and the high command offers it just to pacify them. I have never heard of such a formula," he said.
He further said that such talks are media-created hype.
"Such a thing has not happened in the Congress before and neither will it happen in the future. No leader or worker has the courage to demand any position," he said.
Attempts to put up a united front: Soon after the briefing, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh tweeted: "The Congress party is well on its way to repeating its Karnataka success in Rajasthan as well."
Venugopal also took to Twitter to say that the party will "break the decades-long tradition of alternating governments by registering a thumping victory!"
"It is very clear that Rajasthan is going to be a strong state for the Congress party. We are going to win," Venugopal said.