Parliament was stalled yet again on Tuesday over FDI in multi-brand retail, with government managers seeking ways to discuss the issue in the House to have it running, without risking being reduced to a minority on it.
The BJP wants nothing short of rollback or an adjournment motion in Lok Sabha calling for "withdrawal" of the decision.
Facing hostility from most of the opposition parties, right from allies like TMC and DMK and also from SP and BSP, the UPA government risks being in a minority, which can be a huge embarrassment - a matter that an aggressive Opposition is trying to make the best of.
Adjournment motions - as the BJP is insisting on - and discussions under Rule 184, one of the option the government is mulling, in the Lok Sabha entails voting. While a discussion under Rule 193 does not entail voting.
Government managers thus have a dual task of reasoning with the Opposition to allow Parliament to meet to take up crucial legislation, and try to ensure that allies support it, or at least abstain, if voting does take place under such a motion.
Moreover, their safest path is a resolution that entails no censure - something they are insisting on - and just discussing the "extraordinary situation" the decision has led to.
The BJP, which was demanding a rollback a day back, at the all-party meet with Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday said the only other option was an adjournment motion.
But the language of the motion - calling for "withdrawal" of the step - was "non-negotiable", Sushma Swaraj said. "We gave two options: either withdraw the decision or accept an adjournment motion," Swaraj said. The Left parties want a rollback and then a discussion in Parliament.
At the all-party meet, Mukherjee promised to get back after consulting the PM.