Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Monday expressed disappointment with his allies for not fully standing by him when he came under attack from the Left over the Indo-US nuclear deal.
The prime minister bared his heart at a meeting of the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA), including top leaders of the major Congress allies, at his residence, informed sources told IANS.
"The prime minister voiced his disappointment to Lalu Prasad, Sharad Pawar and TR Baalu over their public statements against the nuclear deal," the source said.
It is the first time Manmohan Singh has directly confronted the allies, whose support his Congress-led government is dependent on, over any major issue.
He reminded the allies that they were part of the cabinet decision to approve the Indo-US nuclear deal.
The meeting was held to chalk out strategy ahead of the government's later meeting with the Left to discuss the Indo-US nuclear deal. That meeting ended on an amicable note, with a pledge to meet again on Nov 16.
Cabinet ministers Lalu Prasad, Baalu and Pawar are believed to have told the prime minister that the situation was different when the cabinet approved the agreement.
"The situation (then) was not either the deal or the government," one of them pointed out.
A Congress leader who participated in the meeting denied media reports that the prime minister had threatened to resign. "Absolutely wrong," he said.
While Pawar and Lalu Prasad have stated that they did not want fresh elections over the nuclear row, DMK chief M. Karunanidhi claimed that he never gave his support to the nuclear deal.