"Forget-And-Forgive," Ashok Gehlot Repeats, But Yet To Meet Sachin Pilot

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'Forget-And-Forgive,' Ashok Gehlot Repeats, But Yet To Meet Sachin Pilot

Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot are expected to come face-to-face at a Congress Legislature Party meeting


Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, yet to meet with his sacked deputy Sachin Pilot after his reconciliation with the Congress leadership and "homecoming", repeated today in tweets that he was all for "forget and forgive" and moving on.

The tweets signaled that after a three-day silence, the Chief Minister may finally meet Sachin Pilot today. The bitter rivals are expected to come face-to-face at a Congress Legislature Party meeting scheduled later today to plan for the special session of the Rajasthan assembly from tomorrow.

"The Congress's fight is to save democracy under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. In the past one month, whatever internal discord happened within the Congress party, we have to, for the state, for the country and for the people for Rajasthan, move on with the spirit of forget-and-forgive," Mr Gehlot tweeted in Hindi.

The tweet indicated that he was ready to fall in with the wishes of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, who had been keen on retaining Mr Pilot even when his rift with the party appeared to have reached the breaking point.

In practice, it will be harder to do for the Chief Minister, who aimed unfiltered attacks on Mr Pilot over the past month. In his most controversial remarks, Mr Gehlot called his former deputy "nikamma, naakara (useless)", corrupt and "all about good looks and smooth-talking".

To help smooth things over, the Congress has despatched senior leader KC Venugopal, who has reportedly been speaking to both leaders since last night.

Sachin Pilot returned to Jaipur on Tuesday after ending his month-long rebellion. The truce was announced on Monday after he met with Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who reassured him that his grievances would be addressed.

Mr Gehlot left Jaipur before Mr Pilot arrived and chose to fly to Jaisalmer, where he had put up 100-odd MLAs to guard his flock for a possible trust vote on Friday.

Mr Gehlot said Congress MLAs are "naturally upset" about the truce but everyone has to move on. "Forget and forgive," he declared while meticulously avoiding any chance of a "reunion" photo-op with Mr Pilot.

The MLAs on Team Gehlot returned to Jaipur on Wednesday and were driven straight to Fairmont, the resort they had stayed in during the rebel crisis. They are likely to stay there till the Friday session, a sign that Mr Gehlot is not dropping his guard.

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