Third Front jolted as RPI(Gavai) quits ahead of polls | india | Hindustan Times
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Third Front jolted as RPI(Gavai) quits ahead of polls

In a pre-election blow to the 18-party Third Front, the Republican Party of India-Gavai - an important component - walked out of the alliance in Nagpur.

india Updated: Sep 22, 2009 23:01 IST

In a pre-election blow to the 18-party Third Front, the Republican Party of India (RPI)-Gavai - an important component - walked out of the alliance in Nagpur on Tuesday.

RPI leader Rajendra Gavai announced that his party would independently contest at least 15 seats in eastern Maharashtra's Vidarbha region for the Oct 13 assembly elections.

Ramdas Athavale, who heads the Third Front christened as Republican Left Democratic Front (RLDF), dismissed the development, saying that the RPI(G)'s exit from the conglomerate would not have "any impact" on its poll prospects.

Gavai's decision came six days after he accused Athavale of attempting to 'hijack' the group's leadership, and threatened to quit the RLDF.

"RLDF does not belong to any single leader, it is a coalition of 18 parties, all of which have an equal right in the decision-making process. But Athawale has been taking decisions without even consulting us. Certain things we learnt through media conferences," Gavai said Sep 15, a day after the group's joint election manifesto was released in Mumbai.

Gavai's grouse stemmed from Athavale's move to offer five seats to the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) of former union minister Ram Vilas Paswan.

While the RLDF had worked out seat-sharing deals among its constituents for 260 seats, discussions were on for the remaining 28 seats. The state assembly has a total of 288 seats.