West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday congratulated Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on the latter’s decision to snap ties with the NDA outside the state.

Addressing reporters after a state-level administrative review meeting in Howrah, Banerjee said that she would also like to thank the Janata Dal (United) chief for the decision.

“I have come across a statement from Nitish Ji that he won’t form alliance with NDA outside Bihar. I would like to congratulate him. Thank you to him,” she said.

Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress (TMC) is locked in a pitched political battle in West Bengal with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the lead party in the NDA.

The Janata Dal (United) on Sunday decided that it will not be a part of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led NDA anywhere outside Bihar. The decision was taken at the party’s National Executive Meet, attended by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and JD(U) leader and poll strategist Prashant Kishor.

The party will fight the upcoming elections alone in J-K, Jharkhand, Haryana and Delhi.

But Kumar on Monday asserted that there was no rift between the JD(U) and its ally BJP.

“There are no differences with the BJP. Our relation with the BJP is as strong as it was in past. Everything is good, all is well in the NDA in Bihar,” Nitish Kumar told media after holding his weekly Lok Samvad programme.

The decision came days after Nitish Kumar inducted eight JD(U) MLAs as Cabinet Ministers, leaving out his ally BJP and fuelling speculation of a rift between the two parties.

The Cabinet expansion came two days after the Janata Dal (United) chief decided that his party won’t join Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new government because it was offered just one seat — a “symbolic” representation.