Congress faces challenge from BSP: Chavan

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Kolhapur, Sep 12 (UNI) Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office Prithviraj Chavan today said in the next Lok Sabha elections, there would be real challenge to the Congress from Mayawati-led Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) and not from the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

Addressing a news conference here, Mr Chavan said the political equation changed after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh-led UPA Government won the confidence motion in July.

After this, the Left parties, which supported the government, withdrew their support over the Indo-us nuclear treaty and joined hands with Ms Mayawati, while the NDA is a divided house. Therefore, the BSP will be a real challenge to the Congress, he said.

He said former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had supported the nuclear accord, but the present leadership was ''wrongly'' opposing it.

Replying to a query, Mr Chavan said the elections will be held as per schedule next year. However, the timeframe of the elections will be decided solely by the Election Commission.

He informed that the Parliament session will commence from October 17 and continue for five weeks.

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