Bengaluru: The Janata Dal (Secular) in Karnataka got the backing of Telangana chief minister K.Chandrasekhar Rao on Friday when he asked native Telugu speakers of the state to support the regional party in the 12 May assembly elections.

“I appeal to all the Telugu speaking people of Karnataka...please support JD(S)," Rao said while adding that he would also campaign for the party wherever possible.

Rao met former prime minister and JD(S) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda and his son H.D. Kumaraswamy on Friday in Bengaluru, sparking speculation about a third front taking shape against the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections as well as the upcoming Karnataka polls.

The support from Rao’s Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) to JD(S) adds to the growing momentum for a third front of non-BJP, non-Congress parties in next year’s elections. Though many similar efforts have fizzled out in the past, Rao, among others, has renewed efforts to bring states and parties on common ground to mobilise support for the movement. He even met West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee last month in this regard.

Rao said that the two existing ‘systems’—BJP and Congress—had failed to deliver on promises or resolve decade-old issues in the country.

He listed water issues as the biggest problem that the centre had failed to deal with even though the disputes have existed for many decades, causing states to fight each other.

“This is not a silly political front," Rao said after his meeting with Gowda on Friday. “It’s a programme-based front. If anyone wants to implement this programme, they are most welcome," he added.

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