The Congress appears reluctant to include Samajwadi Party and Lalu Prasad's RJD in the new Union Cabinet despite their overtures, but the party may receive outside support from an unlikely quarter--Mayawati's BSP.
Sensing the ruling party's reluctance, Samajwadi chief Mulayam Singh Yadav said in Etawah that his party was ready to sit in the Opposition if its offer of "constructive support" was not accepted by the UPA.
A disgruntled Lalu, who commands the support of 3 other MPs, is still waiting for an indication whether he would be retained in the Manmohan Singh Cabinet, an issue on which there are divergent views in the Congress. At a farewell meeting of the Union Cabinet he complained that he was being insulted by some Congress leaders.
Both SP and RJD, who parted company with the Congress on the eve of the elections, have not not been invited to a meeting of the UPA on Wednesday.
Political circles were abuzz with reports that the BSP, which has 20 members in the new Lok Sabha, may offer outside support, to the government. There was no no word from BSP on this but Congress sources indicated that the two sides were in touch.