New Delhi: With their vote tally having plummeted, former UPA allies Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Samajwadi Party (SP) on Monday sounded chastened as they offered the new United Progressive Alliance government their unconditional support and said they were not interested in being part of the new ministry.
RJD leader Lalu Prasad, who was railways minister, was in the Capital to attend the last Cabinet meeting of the outgoing government. According to sources, Lalu Prasad voiced unhappiness at the meeting that despite offering the Congress-led UPA his support for such a long time he was being given short shrift.
However, emerging from the last meeting of the outgoing cabinet, Lalu Prasad said his party would provide "unconditional support" to the new government.
The RJD's strength has gone down from 24 MPs in the last Lok Sabha to just four this time.
The Congress party has called a meeting of its "pre-poll" allies on Wednesday, making clear its stand on the RJD and the Lok Janshakti Party, which de-linked from the alliance to fight the elections along with the SP - as the Fourth Front.
SP General Secretary Amar Singh told reporters: "They need not honour us, but should not insult us too."
Earlier in the day, SP President Mulayam Singh Yadav had said in Mainpuri that if it was not taken in the government, it was ready to sit in the Opposition. "But, if the UPA does not want our support, we have no choice but to sit in the Opposition," Yadav had said.
Both Mulayam Singh and Amar Singh had met with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday evening to offer support. "He had told us that history will remember us for our support during the Indo-US nuclear deal," said Singh.
The cabinet, in its meeting Monday chaired by Manmohan Singh, had passed a resolution recommending that the Lok Sabha be dissolved. The meeting was held at the prime minister's 7, Race Course Road residence.
Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh pointed out to reporters here that Lalu Prasad had stood by the party and its leader Sonia Gandhi when they were in opposition.
Singh said that the 2009 poll verdict had indicated that the role of regional parties would be limited in the future.
"I see a clear mandate in 2014. The stake of regional parties is coming down. People have seen how the UPA was pressurised by small groups on issues which were not related to governance or the people. The people have not liked it and rejected them," Digvijay Singh said.
The meeting of the pre-poll allies will take place at 10, Janpath, which is UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi's residence.
Dwivedi refused to comment on whether Lalu Prasad and Mulayam Singh Yadav would be attending.
Since they were not the UPA's pre-poll allies they are not expected to attend the meeting.
The Congress's Parliamentary Party will meet Tuesday morning during which the leader of the Congress Parliamentary Party will be chosen.
The UPA, which has bagged 263 Lok Sabha seats, is poised to form the government again.