The Congress-NCP alliance suffered a setback with the united Republican Party of India deciding to maintain equidistance from it and the Opposition Shiv Sena-BJP combine. The RPI has decided to fight all the 288 assembly seats in the coming elections. Except for the RPI faction led by Prakash Ambedkar, all others have dissolved their parties and joined hands to form a united RPI. Ramdas Athavale said that the RPI has decided to contest all the 288 assembly seats. Athavale said that the RPI will talk with like-minded parties to set up a third front in the state. Senior Congress minister Patangrao Kadam hoped that the united RPI would not do anything to harm the secular fabric of the state. Meanwhile, a meeting of senior leaders was convened in Delhi by Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday. However, it was concluded without taking any decision as she has not received first-hand reports from AICC observers.