"No JPC, no sine die," the government said as its relations with the Opposition reached a new low over a joint parliamentary committee probe into the telecom scandal.
Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee showed his despair. "I have not been able to find a solution. I do not know how to resolve this impasse. We are trying. Let us see," he said.
As the two Houses were adjourned again on Thursday, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar appealed to all parties to "end the impasse."
But the Opposition upped its ante. Samajwadi Party MPs staged a dharna in Parliament, dubbing the government "most corruption and dishonest".
CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechury met Mukherjee to renew the Opposition demand for a JPC.
The standoff fuelled speculation of an early end of the winter session—perhaps next week. But parliamentary affairs minister PK Bansal ruled it out. "The government will make efforts till December 13 (the last day of session) to ensure that the House runs," he said.
The Congress core group will this week take fresh stock of the situation.
But an indication of early adjournment would come if the government pushes the supplementary demands for grants in the din.
By denying a sine die adjournment, the Congress hopes to avoid being seen as guilty. It also hopes to tire out the Opposition and divide it over the BJP’s "double standards" on corruption vis-a-vis Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa.
Bansal told the Opposition that if their JPC demand was intended to summon the Prime Minister and some other ministers, it was not acceptable.