Wary of an increasingly negative public perception about the frequent disruptions in both Houses of Parliament, the government went into an overdrive to salvage the winter session after it began with a washout on Tuesday.
With an aggressive and combined Opposition forcing the Lok Sabha to adjourn for the day on a variety of issues, the government's ace troubleshooter, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, met the Left leaders - the UPA's former supporters - over lunch.The government sniffed out the unease of the Left to go along with the BJP on the issue of boycotting home minister P Chidambaram for allegedly being a part of the 2G scam.
"At some levels, we have to dissociate our politics with that of the BJP. We can't ignore the fact that P Chidambaram has taken a strong stand against communalism," said a senior Left leader.
But the Opposition parties said Parliament's functioning on Wednesday would largely depend on whether the government accepted their demand for bringing an adjournment motion on price rise. The government appeared open to the idea.
Parliamentary affairs minister Pawan Kumar Bansal earlier said there would be discussions on Mukherjee's 11-page statement on the price situation. BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, however, rubbished the statement tabled in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
Sinha said, "We dismiss the finance minister's statement... we are not satisfied with the government's excuses on price rise and inflation."
In a related development, the Left insisted on an adjournment motion.
"Although we are going to press for an adjournment motion, we don't want to disrupt Parliament. We have also moved a motion under Rule 193 (without voting) to discuss the finance minister's statement on inflation," the CPI's Gurudas Dasgupta said.
Congress sources said Mukherjee would reach out to other parties also, including the BJP. A meeting with Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav is also expected on Wednesday.