Janata Dal (United) President Sharad Yadav on Monday said regional parties will play an important role in the formation of next government at the Centre.

“Regional parties will play an important role in the formation of next government (at Centre) as (number of seats in Lok Sabha for) Congress will go down while BJP will not make any significant gains,” he told reporters after meeting President of Awami National Conference Khalida Shah.

Asked if there were any potential allies in Jammu and Kashmir for the Third Front, Mr. Yadav said his party has worked with state party leaders in the past and all options were open.

“We have worked with Farooq Abdullah as well Mufti Mohammad Sayeed,” he said.

Replying to a question, Mr. Yadav said Article 370 of the Constitution, guaranteeing special status to Jammu and Kashmir, should stay.

“It is not only in Jammu and Kashmir but in Northeast also. It was one of the issues over which we had differences with BJP, besides the (Ram) temple,” Mr. Yadav added.

Meanwhile, Ms. Khalida told reporters that her meeting with Mr. Yadav and his colleagues was aimed at persuading them to raise the issues of Kashmir in the Parliament.

“No one is raising the issues of Kashmir in Parliament.

We want these leaders to raise these issues there,” she said.