Rebel Sachin Pilot's removal from the posts of Rajasthan deputy chief minister and Congress state unit chief on Tuesday evoked mixed reactions from the party leaders, with a section of them still hoping for resolution of the matter and the rest blaming the young leader for his haste.
Most of the leaders, however, described the turn of events as 'unfortunate' and 'sad'.
A day after the Congress said the 'doors are open' for Pilot and gave him a second chance, the party virtually closed them for him on Tuesday, sacking him as Rajasthan deputy chief minister and state party chief, three days after he mounted a rebellion against his state chief minister Ashok Gehlot.
Soon after the Congress action, party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said Pilot was holding constitutional post and some of his actions may not be in sync with that position.
"Some doors have to close if the open doors are not utilised for constructive closures. We still hope that closure of options will be an exception, and harmonious settlement the rule," Singhvi told PTI.
"A constitutional government responsibility of deputy CM obviously sits uneasily with activities which are anti-party," he added.
Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said the development was 'disappointing' for the party workers who have reposed faith in the Congress party.
"It is not just disappointing for the party, but also for the grassroot workers, who want the party to progress and do well. The biggest blow is to the common workers who have reposed faith in the party.This has certainly hurt the common workers," he told PTI.
Chowdhury said every party worker has aspirations to reach the highest post, but they should be kept within limits.
He said when people see such things happening, with leaders aspiring for the top posts, they get hurt and disappointed.
Senior party leader Salman Khurshid said, "the developments are sad. I don't want to go into the specifics of apportioning blame. I wish that we would all together be fighting the challenges rather than letting such things happen."
Asked about the young leaders being unhappy and some even leaving like Jyotiraditya Scindia, he said: "I don't see young and old as a distinction. The only distinction you can make is those who go away and those who stay. We have to concentrate on fighting the BJP and it's sad that these developments have taken place."
Noting that what has happened is 'unfortunate', veteran Congress leader M Veerappa Moily said the BJP is exploiting the vulnerability of young Congress leaders who are ambitious.
He also felt that Pilot should have had patience and perseverance and not been in haste.
"Pilot was made deputy chief minister and given the reins of the party in Rajasthan and the next leg was the chief ministership. But he had no patience. The BJP made use of his vulnerability," he told PTI.
Former Union minister and Pilot's 'colleague and friend' Jitin Prasada said no one can take away the fact that Sachin Pilot has long worked with dedication for the Congress.
Considered a prominent leader of the party's 'young brigade', Prasada expressed the hope that the situation can be salvaged.
'Sachin Pilot is not just a colleague but my friend. No one can take away the fact that all these years he has worked with dedication for the party,' Prasada tweeted.
"Sincerely hope the situation can still be salvaged. Sad it has come to this," he said.
However, a senior leader said 'patience never hurts' and alleged that there is a 'sense of entitlement' among the young generation in the party.
Another leader said what is happening in the party 'is not good'.
"Some youngsters have got more than they deserved due to extraordinary circumstances. They should be grateful and not greedy," said a senior leader, who did not wish to be named.
Shortly after he was sacked, Pilot said, 'Truth can be rattled, not defeated'.
He also changed his profile on Twitter, deleting all references to his positions as deputy chief minister and Rajasthan Congress chief.
He only described himself as MLA of Tonk and a former minister of IT, Telecom & Corporate affairs, Government of India.