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Athavale's third front will affect Congress-NCP prospects: Bhujbal

Source: PTI
September 11, 2009 12:12 IST
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According to the predictions made by Nationalist Congress Party leader and Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, the newly formed Republican Left Democratic Front will threaten the prospects of the Congress-NCP in the October 13 poll to the Maharashtra assembly.

The RLDF is a coalition of 16 Republican and Left parties and was formed on August 25.

"The Front will affect Congress-NCP prospects," said the Bhujbal, when asked if the RLDF would play spoilsport for the ruling alliance, as the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena did for the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party combine during the Lok Sabha polls.

Refuting allegations that the MNS has been "sponsored" by the Congress-NCP to erode the vote margin of the Sena-BJP saffron alliance, Bhujbal said: "It is not true. The MNS is sponsored by the party chief, Raj Thackeray."

The RLDF has announced that it would contest all the 288 assembly seats, adding that it would not tie up with either the Congress or the NCP.

The Republican Party headed by Ramdas Athavale -- a prominent constituent of the Front -- had been a traditional ally of the Congress-NCP and has benefited the alliance by gathering a significant Dalit voters' base in the state. Athavale had lost the Shirdi Lok Sabha seat this year and blamed his poll debacle on a "conspiracy by Congress leaders".
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