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After resignation, Nitish Kumar spoke to Sonia Gandhi to express gratitude for support

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New Delhi, Aug 09: After submitting his resignation, Nitish Kumar has expressed his gratitude to Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi for supporting him after he ended ties with the BJP.

The Congress will have "active participation" in the government that will be formed by the RJD-led Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) and the JD(U), sources informed PTI.

After resignation, Nitish Kumar speaks to Sonia Gandhi to express gratitude for support

On a day of fast-moving political developments, Kumar met Bihar Governor Phagu Chauhan twice -- first to hand in his resignation as the NDA chief minister and then after being elected leader of the Mahagathbandhan to stake claim for the top job in the state once again.

Kumar said he submitted a list of 164 MLAs to the governor.

In the state Assembly, which has an effective strength of 242, requiring 121 MLAs for a majority, the RJD has the highest number of 79 MLAs followed by the BJP (77) and the JD(U) with 44. The JD(U) also enjoys the support of four MLAs of former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi's Hindustani Awam Morcha and an Independent. The Congress has 19 MLAs while the CPIML(L) has 12 and CPI and CPI(M) have two each. Besides, one MLA belongs to Asaduddin Owaisi's AIMIM.

The oath-taking ceremony will be held at 2 pm on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, when a meeting a JD(U) meeting was going on, senior leader Upendra Kushwaha in a tweet congratulated Kumar for leading a "new coalition in new form," implicitly acknowledging the split and embracing the RJD-led Mahagathbandhan' (Grand Alliance) to continue in office.

A meeting of the RJD-led Grand Alliance, also comprising the Left and the Congress, took place at Rabri Devi's house, across the street from the chief minister's residence. The CM is understood to have told party legislators and MPs that he had been driven against the wall by the BJP which tried to weaken his JD(U), first by propping up Chirag Paswan's rebellion and later through the party's former national president RCP Singh.

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