The Congress on Tuesday said it will support any non-Bharatiya Janata Party government in Bihar to help strengthen secular forces amid hectic political activity in the state where Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has ended Janata Dal-United's alliance with the BJP.
Sources said the Congress, which has 19 legislators in the Bihar assembly, will go by what the Rashtriya Janata Dal decides and its presence will help strengthen the coalition.
They added that like in Maharashtra where the Congress helped stitch together the Maha Vikas Aghadi government by supporting the Shiv Sena which was ideologically different from it, it could align with Kumar who has remained with them in the past.
"Ours is an ideological battle and we are not fighting for power. The Congress will support any non-BJP government and help strengthen secular forces," Congress general secretary Tariq Anwar told PTI.
"Because Nitish Kumar is leaving the BJP and coming over, we will support him," he said, adding whatever steps are needed to strengthen secular forces and defeat the communal forces the grand old party will take.
The JD-U has 45 legislators and RJD has 79 MLAs, while the BJP has only 75 MLAs in the 243 member state assembly in Bihar.
The Communist Party of India-Marxist-Leninist has 12 MLAs, Communist Party of India-Marxist and Communist Party of India have two MLAs each, while one MLA is of All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen.
The Hindustani Awam Morcha of former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi has four legislators and one is independent, while one seat is vacant.
Sources in Patna said Kumar has split with ally BJP and is likely to meet Governor Phagu Chauhan later in the day.
Though no official announcements have been made, senior RJD 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.
Kumar, who has been promised the support of opposition parties, sought time from Chauhan, who has given an appointment at 4 pm, they said.
A meeting of the RJD-led Grand Alliance, comprising the Left and the Congress, also took place at Rabri Devi's house, where all the MLAs are said to have signed a letter of support to Kumar.