Rahul Gandhi met Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot separately, sources have said. (File Photo)
The Congress has projected unity to take on the BJP in the assembly polls in Rajasthan but "core issues" between Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his bete noire Sachin Pilot remain unresolved, according to sources close to Sachin Pilot.
The Congress on Monday said the two leaders have agreed to the party's "proposal" and will fight the upcoming assembly elections unitedly, having left all issues to be resolved by the high command.
However, the sources told Press Trust of India that Monday's meeting of Mr Gehlot and Mr Pilot with party chief Mallikarjun Kharge and Rahul Gandhi did not result in any resolution of the "core issues" between the two Rajasthan bigwigs.
They also said Mr Kharge and Rahul Gandhi first met Mr Gehlot for two hours and then met Sachin Pilot separately after which all the leaders posed together for photographs at Mr Kharge's residence. Interestingly, despite the meeting being held in the same house, the leadership held discussions with Mr Gehlot and Mr Pilot separately.
Also, for the media bite outside Mr Kharge's 10 Rajaji Marg residence last night, while both Mr Gehlot and Mr Pilot walked out with general secretary organization KC Venugopal, they remained silent and did not speak to the media.
Their body language also did not exude any bonhomie.
The meeting came close on the heels of Mr Pilot's "ultimatum" that he would launch a state-wide agitation if his three demands of the state government were not met by the end of this month.
The sources close to Sachin Pilot said the demands that he has raised, especially with respect to the action against alleged corruption during the previous Vasundhara Raje government, remain unresolved.
They said Mr Pilot was firm on his demands, and post-meeting if the Gehlot government does not act on them, he would continue to press for the causes he has taken up.
Mr Pilot's two other demands were reconstituting the Rajasthan Public Service Commission (RPSC) and making fresh appointments in it, and compensation for those affected by the cancellation of government recruitment exams following paper leaks.
Mr Gehlot's remarks that the party high command is strong and it will never offer any position to any leader or worker to pacify him, also created problems ahead of the meeting.
On Mr Gehlot's swipe, leaders close to Mr Pilot said it is not about seeking personal positions but the issue of corruption and paper leaks is far more important which needs to be resolved on priority.
The party on Monday sought to project that all was fine in its Rajasthan unit.
Addressing reporters after the meeting at Mr Kharge's 10, Rajaji Marg, residence, Venugopal had said, "Both the leaders Ashok ji and Sachin ji agreed to the proposal on these things." Asked what proposal he was talking out, Venugopal had said, "Both have left it to the (party) high command."
Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot have been engaged in a power tussle since the Congress formed government in the state in 2018. In 2020, Sachin Pilot led a revolt against the Ashok Gehlot government after which he was removed from the posts of the party's state unit president and deputy chief minister.
Last year, an attempt by the high command to effect a leadership change in Rajasthan had failed after Mr Gehlot loyalists dug their heels in and did not allow a legislature party meeting to take place.
Sachin Pilot had last month defied a warning from the party and went ahead with a day-long fast targeting Ashok Gehlot over his "inaction" on alleged corruption during the previous Raje government.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)