Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Congress President Sonia Gandhi met at her residence on Thursday, triggering speculation over a possible pre-poll alliance against the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA for the 2019 parliamentary elections, PTI reported. Kumar called for unity among Opposition parties and the need to set an agenda, instead of reacting to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The spokesperson of Kumar’s Janata Dal (United), however, said the upcoming Presidential election was not discussed at the meeting, PTI reported. “There should a joint opposition candidate for the top Constitutional post and Sonia Gandhi being the leader of the largest opposition party should take the lead,” JDU Spokesperson KC Tyagi said. The Presidential election will be held in July.

Kumar has been urging that a “Mahagathbandhan” or grand alliance be established. “Instead of reacting to Narendra Modi, we should be setting our own agenda,” NDTV quoted Kumar as saying to Gandhi. The Congress chief has been away from the limelight as she has reportedly been undergoing treatment for an undisclosed illness.

The Congress and Janata Dal (United) are allies in the state government along with Lalu Prasad Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal.