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NCP placates RPI (Athavale)

September 24, 2004 21:19 IST

After some hard bargaining, the Republican Party of India (A) on Friday extended support to the Congress-NCP ruling alliance for the October 13 assembly polls in Maharashtra.

NCP has left four assembly seats to RPI and has also offered a 10 per cent share in various government-owned corporations, three MLCs and one ministerial post to the ally if the secular alliance is voted to power, NCP state unit chief R R Patil said at a press conference.

Athawale had earlier announced his party's decision to contest elections on its own strength unhappy over seat-sharing arrangement. Athavale, MPCC chief Prabha Rau, NCP leaders Vijaysinh Mohite-Patil and Chhagan Bhujbal were among those present at the meeting.

NCP has left Indapur, Ulhasnagar, Worli and Gangakhed seats for Athavale's party.

Patil said the alliance might consider giving another ministerial berth to the RPI (A) by taking into consideration the situation during the government formation.

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Athavale, who offered "unstinted support" to the alliance, said at least 175 RPI (A) workers, who had filed their nominations, would be asked to withdraw from the race.

"If they do not withdraw, then strict action will be initiated against them," he said.

Asked about the reasons behind his party's decision to support Congress-NCP, he said "every party works for power. But our decision to back them is to safeguard secular and egalitarian values."

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