New Delhi: Forced to lie low after the Lok
Sabha elections, parties like Samajwadi Party, JD(S), Lok
Janshakti Party and the Left have come together in Maharashtra
to contest the Assembly Elections there.
Having formed the Republican Left Democratic Front (RLDF)
in the state, these parties claim the alliance is only for the
Assembly Elections in Maharashtra which are scheduled for
However, insiders say that if the results are favourable
for the RLDF then there are chances that the alliance could
spread to other states too.
The 18-party alliance has seen all the five warring
factions of the RPI, including the ones led by Ramdas Athawale
and Rajendra Gavai, come together, while some other smaller
parties in the state like Peasants and Workers Party and
Shetkari Sangathana are also part of it.
Chief whip of Samajwadi Party Shailendra Kumar said that his party`s understanding with other constituents of
the front was only for the Maharashtra polls.
"Mulayam Singh Yadav had authorised Maharashtra SP head
Abu Asim Azmi to hold meetings with other parties of the
alliance. The understanding is only for Maharashtra polls. The
future of the alliance will depend on the outcome of the
polls," Kumar said.
JD(S) chief H D Deve Gowda also played safe on the
Though confident of a good performance in the state,
Gowda when asked about the future of the alliance, echoed SP`s
views. "It is only a local understanding for Maharashtra," he
said, adding the partners had not even discussed any
possibility of extending the alliance beyond the state as of
Lok Janshakti Party secretary general Abdul Khaliq also
said they were in the alliance for Maharashtra and contesting
only six seats in pockets like Bhiwandi and Nagpur, where they
are banking on minority and Dalit votes.
"Our Dalit Sena is quite active in these pockets and we
are looking at Muslim and Dalit support in these areas. The
future of the alliance will depend a lot on the poll`s
outcome," Khaliq said.
SP is contesting around 30 seats in Maharashtra, while
JD(S) is fighting 20 seats. There are 288 seats in Maharashtra
The Left parties and JD(S) were the main architects of
the Third Front before the Lok Sabha polls. However, both were
left high and dry after the polls, with JD(S) managing just
three seats and CPI and CPI(M) only four and 16 seats
LJP on the other hand, failed to even open its account,
with its chief Ram Vilas Paswan also losing.
The post poll scenario forced LJP, JD(S) and even SP
to lend outside support to the Congress-led UPA, which these
parties still continue to do so.