The last meeting of the UPA cabinet on Saturday was overcast with a sombre mood even as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tried to cheer up his colleagues telling them not to be ashamed of the 10 years' record.
Manmohan Singh arrives to chair the last cabinet meeting before submitting his resignation to the President, in New Delhi. (PTI Photo)
In the meeting where some ministers lamented the humiliating defeat of the Congress-led UPA, Singh observed, "we accomplished a lot." However, he didn't miss the opportunity of the cabinet meeting to reiterate his pet philosophical line: "let history judge us!"
Health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, who lost in Udhampur Lok Sabha seat, told some of his colleagues that he lost due to communal polarisation. Azad who otherwise enjoys goodwill even in the Hindu-dominated regions of the Jammu & Kashmir told colleagues, "Many supporters came and told me that they will vote for me in the assembly election but they wanted to make Modi the Prime Minister."
Sharad Pawar, whose party bagged only four seats in Maharashtra, didn't talk much in the meeting. His party colleague, union heavy industries minister Praful Patel, did not even attend the meeting after losing the poll from Gondia.
J&K's Farooq Abdullah too, blamed the "Modi wave" as the reason behind his defeat.
Railway minister Mallikarjun Kharge didn't look happy even as others congratulated him for his victory. "What is the point in my win when the party lost so badly," he remarked.
Defence minister AK Antony maintained that the Congress needs to "learn a lot of lessons" from the defeat. "We could not match the aspirations of the young people," he said.
The PM, who tendered his resignation Saturday to President Pranab Mukherjee after the meeting, thanked his colleagues for their support and "candid discussions" in the cabinet meetings.
The cabinet too, passed a resolution expressing the ministers' gratitude to Singh for his "wise leadership" and the way he withstood attacks personally.