When the rail budget was passed without any discussion in the Lok Sabha, even the Left began to voice its dissatisfaction. Somnath Chatterjee, cpi(m), said: "In principle we are not opposed to a jpc. But we would like to discuss this in Parliament." So, when speaker G.M.C. Balayogi urged Madhavrao Scindia and Pramod Mahajan to find a way out of the impasse, the Congress was caught on the backfoot. What many Congressmen had thought would be a fiery session, in which, armed with scam after scam, they would have the government on the mat, turned out to be a fiasco.
The Congress realised, as many partymen point out, a little too late in the day that it was losing public sympathy by disrupting Parliament. Therefore, by way of a face-saver it agreed to stop stalling Parliament if the government kept an 'open mind' on a jpc probe into the Tehelka issue. This was a climbdown from its earlier demand for a categorical assurance from the government. Sensing victory, the PM offered to talk things over with Sonia Gandhi. However, minutes before the meeting, a senior bjp leader held an informal briefing for journalists in which he stated: "We have said we have an open mind, but our mind is still closed."