Weeks after the Centre pushed FDI in multi-brand retail and capped subsidies on diesel and LPG leading to discontent within the UPA, most of the allies skipped the cabinet meeting on Thursday that approved the second round of reforms agenda.
Of the four allies in the cabinet, only civil aviation minister Ajit Singh (RLD) was present at the meet.
Top sources also claimed that most of the decisions were taken virtually without any discussion.
Some Congress ministers, however, raised questions on how the government will be able to pass the pension and insurance bills as it contained FDI proposals.
According to sources, finance minister P Chidambaram explained the government had followed the recommendations of the BJP-led standing committee on these reforms.
All the absentee ministers, however, had given prior-information about their non-availability.
NCP chief and agriculture minister Sharad Pawar was in Vietnam.
NC veteran Farooq Abdullah had engagements in his home state J&K while sole DMK nominee MK Alagiri sent a letter to PM instead of attending the meeting.