The Congress’s Abhishek Singhvi and Shashi Tharoor on Monday evening put out messages of support for rebel leader Sachin Pilot, shortly after it emerged he had met Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to call a truce to a revolt that brought the Rajasthan government to the brink of collapse.
While Mr Singhvi tweeted a “welcome back…” message, Mr Tharoor spoke to NDTV and said “the path of reconciliation” was the best solution for both Mr Pilot and the Congress.
“Welcome back, Sachin. A constructive and enjoyable phase of Rajasthan-building awaits. Congrats 4 teamwork under Rahul Gandhi + his tireless team, including KC Venugopal, Randeep Singh Surjewala and Ajay Maken, who became residents of my home state,” Mr Singhvi tweeted.
“Not to forget political instincts of Gehlot, which rarely fail him,” he added.
Meanwhile Mr Tharoor, who last month said Sachin Pilot was one of the Congress’s “best and brightest”, said he had never made comments against the party, despite having “felt any level of frustration”.
“I think the path of reconciliation is the best for him (Mr Pilot) and for all of us. We want to see differences within the party always resolved in a way that it leaves everyone feeling it is a win-win outcome,” Mr Tharoor told NDTV.
The MP from Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram also took a swipe at the BJP, which has been linked by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot to attempts to destabilise the Congress government in Rajasthan.
“If we have been able to halt BJP’s attempt in Rajasthan then it is a victory not just for Congress but decent politics in our country,” Shashi Tharoor said.
Assam Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi also tweeted, albeit posting a cautious message. “Humility and magnanimity are virtues. We must respect the decision of Congress high command. In the struggle for the Indian people, united we stand and divided we fall,” he wrote.
Mr Gogoi had last month gently reminded Mr Pilot that “personal struggles” could not be allowed to affect the party’s stability”.
The Congress today claimed a dramatic “breakthrough” in resolving the Rajasthan crisis. Mr Pilot “expressed his grievances” and he and the Gandhis had a “frank and conclusive discussion”, senior leader KC Venugopal said.
Sources said terms for “homecoming” of Mr Pilot were also discussed in his meeting with the Gandhis.
The rapprochement comes just four days before a special session of the Rajasthan assembly, where Chief Minister Gehlot was expected to push for a trust vote to prove his majority and outmanoeuvre Mr Pilot, whom he had accused of collaborating with the BJP to topple his government.
Mr Pilot, who had previously been linked with a shock switch to the BJP – something he repeatedly denied – told NDTV today that he stood “vindicated”.
“I had maintained from Day One that I would never join the BJP. I stand vindicated today,” he said.