Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda on Tuesday expressed his support to Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao in his efforts to form a federal front against the Bharatiya Janata Party, PTI reported.

Gowda made the statement in a telephone conversation with Rao on Tuesday, according to a press release from the Telangana chief minister’s office.

“Rao Saab, you are fighting very well,” the former prime minister, who is also the chief of the Janata Dal (Secular), said. “Every one should fight against the communal elements. To protect our country’s secularism, culture and its diverse culture we will be with you and support you.”

Rao told Gowda that he will visit Bengaluru and meet him personally to discuss the matter. The Telangana chief minister has repeatedly criticised the BJP, saying it is undemocratic and should be “driven out at any cost”.

In recent days, several leaders of regional parties have held discussions about the need for them to work together to counter the alleged interference of governors in non-BJP ruled states.

On Monday, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that she spoke to Rao and her Tamil Nadu counterpart MK Stalin in connection with a proposed meeting of chief ministers of Opposition-ruled states.

However, Banerjee added that the Congress “can go its own way” and claimed that no regional party shares cordial relations with it.

On February 13, Stalin said that Banerjee had called him to express “concern and anguish on the Constitutional overstepping and brazen misuse of power by the governors of non-BJP ruled states”.

The Tamil Nadu chief minister said that he assured her of the commitment of his party, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, to uphold state autonomy. He stated that a convention of Opposition chief ministers will be held soon.

Meanwhile, Nationalist Congress Party spokesperson and Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik said that the constituent parties of the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance will form a strategy in the coming days to find ways to stop the alleged misuse of central investigation agencies by the BJP, ANI reported.

The Maha Vikas Aghadi, which is in power in Maharashtra, comprises the Shiv Sena, the Nationalist Congress Party and Congress.

Malik added that Rao will hold a meeting with Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. “Non-BJP CMs, all of us will meet after 10 March,” he said.

The results of the Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur will be declared on March 10.