The government on Friday reached out to the Opposition to end the impasse in Parliament over the coal block allocation issue but the Bharatiya Janata Party remained firm on its stand that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should resign for his alleged complicity in the case.
Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal talked to Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj in the House soon after it was adjourned.
They requested her to allow the House to function and assured her that the government is ready to debate the coal allocation issue.
Swaraj stuck to her party demand that the PM should resign. She was accompanied by Deputy Leader of BJP in Lok Sabha Gopinath Munde and spokesperson and MP Shahnawaz Hussain. BJP did not budge from its stated position, sources said.
Later, BJP leaders L K Advani, Swaraj, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, Hussain and Munde held a meeting. The party will continue to force adjournments till the government agrees to its demand, sources said.
Asked about his meeting with Swaraj, Shinde said, "I am talking to everybody to (Leader of Opposition) Sushma Swaraj and other allies too. An effort is on to have a discussion and through it we can resolve this deadlock. We and the Prime Minister are saying this repeatedly that through a discussion we can resolve this issue".
He also said that the government is not worried about the Opposition's attempts to woo UPA allies to their side on the coal allocation issue.
"I am not worried about anything. My allies are absolutely strong bcause they believe in secularism," Shinde told reporters outside Parliament House when asked if he feared UPA allies walking over to the Opposition camp.
SP and BSP, which lend outside support to the government, kept away from a meeting of political parties convened by Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar to end the Parliament impasse.
NDA convenor Sharad Yadav has reached out to some of the UPA allies on the issue.