The Congress-NCP alliance received a setback with the 21-member Third Front deciding on allocation of 200 of the 288 assembly seats. After a prolonged meeting, Republican Party of India leader Ramdas Athavle said that the Republican-Left Democratic Front will decide on all the 288 seats before the filing of nominations begins on September 18. The Congress and the NCP have taken serious note of the development as they fear that the third force would divide secular votes. The Third Front also plans to keep its doors open to accommodate rebel Congress and NCP activists on merit. The front will have a common manifesto focusing on issues like load-shedding, unemployment and problems related to minorities. Following the decision taken by the Third Front, the united RPI has got 85 seats. Ramdas Athavale told the media that the front has decided on the sharing of seats and it is now for individual parties to decide their nominees for these seats. According to the list, Samajwadi Party will contest 21 seats, Rashtriya Samaj Paksha-18, Janata Dal (Secular)-15, Peasants and Workers Party -13, CPI (M)-12 and CPI-10. Bureau report – NMTV News.
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