New Delhi: It was December 14, 2018. Congress president Rahul Gandhi tweeted a photo of him along with Sachin Pilot and Ashok Gehlot with a caption "The united colours of Rajasthan!"

Come June 4, the tweet hasn't aged well. The Rajasthan unit of the Congress has split wide open as Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot has, for the first time, come out in the open to say his deputy Sachin Pilot should take responsibility for his son's defeat. Gehlot junior faced a humiliating defeat in the national election. Congress couldn't win a single seat in the state.

Daggers are out in Congress

In an interview to ABP News, Gehlot who was entrusted to bring a sizeable number of seats from Rajasthan in the general election, said, "Sachin Pilot said we would win with a huge majority. He said we have six MLAs (legislators) and we have done very good campaigning there... Sachin Pilot should take responsibility for at least that (Jodhpur) seat." 

That's not the end of all. Gehlot further accused, "If Pilot said we would win a shandaar jeet (super victory) and he got my son his ticket to contest from Jodhpur, he should take responsibility for Jodhpur. Now we have lost 25 seats." Vaibhav Gehlot lost by 2.7 lakh votes in Jodhpur to BJP's Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. Pilot, however, has maintained a dignified silence so far.

The context of the civil war

The Gehlot-Pilot spat goes back to December last year, much before the tweet of Rahul Gandhi advertising "the united colours of Rajasthan". Both Pilot and Gehlot Senior refused to give up their claim to the top job of the state after the Congress came to power defeating the incumbent Vasundhara Raje-led BJP. 

Many within the Congress espoused for Pilot as the young face of the party. But Gehlot weighed over with a perception his ground connect can fetch the party more seats in 2019 general election from the state than it would under the CM-ship of Pilot who is portrayed as an elite by the Gehlot camp. In 2014, Congress won zero seats out of 25 of the state. In 2019, nothing changed with Congress sticking to a zero. 

As a chief minister who couldn't keep his promise and under whose leadership the party scored a handsome duck, it's just strange to blame it on his deputy than own up to it. But one thing is beyond doubt, as the Congress braces for a civil war, Rahul Gandhi's December 14 tweet is teasing the party with its many hues of irony.