Sachin Pilot, who ended his month-long revolt after a meeting with Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Monday, today said he bore no ill-will against Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who had called him "nikamma (useless)" and accused him of conspiring with the BJP to pull down his government.
"I have imbibed certain values from my family. No matter how much I oppose anyone, I've never used such language," Sachin Pilot said, when asked about the "nikamma" comment.
"Ashok Gehlot ji is elder to me and I respect him personally but I have the right to raise work-related concerns... "There should a ''lakshman rekha'' in public discourse and I have never crossed that line in 20 years. We need to set an example in front of people that personal attacks and the use of harsh words against each other is not right and necessary. I will never do it. I don't think I should react to it also."
He disagreed that his breakdown with Mr Gehlot had gone too far beyond repair. The Chief Minister, in multiple attacks on his former deputy, called him "nikamma, naakara (useless)" and also accused him of "horse-trading" or deal-making with the BJP against the Congress government.
"I don't harbour any personal grudges," he said.
Asked whether he had any "message" for Mr Gehlot, he responded: "I don't have any message to give him."
Would they hug when they met for the first time since his revolt? "We have worked together, differences in ideologies and principles happen but in politics there's no room for personal differences," Mr Pilot replied.
In Jaipur, the Chief Minister evaded any response when asked how he could go back to working with someone he had called "nikamma". Without taking names, he said: "If the party decides to forgive them then I will give them a warm hug."
Mr Pilot launched a rebellion after he was asked on July 10 by the Rajasthan Special Operations Group - which reports to the Chief Minister -- to answer questions about allegations of MLAs being bribed to turn against the Congress and bring down the government in which he was Deputy Chief Minister.
After he revolted and skipped meetings called by Mr Gehlot, he was sacked as Deputy Chief Minister and Rajasthan Congress chief, posts that he may not get back anymore.
"I have worked for the party and I will keep working for the party. I have not demanded any post. I had certain complaints, on which the party high command has given me full assurance," Mr Pilot said.
Asked to respond to speculation that he was forced to patch up with his party after being "dumped" by the BJP because he failed to win over more than 18 rebel MLAs to his side, Mr Pilot said: "I am not here to dump someone or get dumped. We are here for the public. We have the right to put across our point and that's what we did. I am happy that this was taken forward."