The Samajwadi Party, JD(S), the Lok Janshakti Party, the Left, and a few smaller parties 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 October 13.

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 Mr Ramdas Athawale and Mr 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 told PTI 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," Mr Kumar said.

The JD(S) chief H D Deve Gowda also played safe on the alliance.

Though confident of a good performance in the state, Mr 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 now.

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," Mr Khaliq said.

The SP is contesting around 30 seats in Maharashtra, while JD(S) is fighting 20 seats. There are 288 seats in Maharashtra assembly.

Sources in the RLDF said the Left parties too are not looking beyond Maharashtra as of now.

Both CPI and CPI(M) are having negotiations with other alliance partners and are aiming to contest around 45 to 48 seats there (with CPI(M) aiming at a larger share).

All the parties are contesting in those areas of Maharashtra where they feel they have certain pockets of influence and if the alliance manages to win a significant number of seats, then its aim would be to remain politically relevant in the post-poll scenario in that state.

The RLDF is also hoping that the anti-incumbency factor against the 10-year-old Congress-NCP regime in Maharashtra would work in their favour and it would be able to give a good fight to the Shiv Sena-BJP combine, said a senior leader of the front.

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