In a blow to the move of the opposition to field a joint candidate for the presidential election, National Conference chief Dr. Farooq Abdullah on Saturday “respectfully withdrew” his name saying his efforts were required to navigate Jammu and Kashmir through the ongoing “critical juncture”.
Dr. Farooq Abdullah’s statement withdrawing his name for consideration as joint opposition’s Presidential candidate appeared on the official Twitter account of the National Conference and was also re-tweeted by his son and former chief minister Omar Abdullah.
Abdullah’s name was proposed as a possible joint opposition candidate for the office of President of India by the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who recently convened a meeting of opposition leaders to discuss the issue of fielding a joint candidate.
Abdullah stated that subsequent to Mamata didi proposing “my” name, I have received a number of calls from opposition leaders offering their support for my candidature. “I am deeply touched by the support that I’ve received & honoured to have been considered for the highest office in the country”.
“I believe that Jammu & Kashmir is passing through a critical juncture and my efforts are required to help navigate these uncertain times,” said Abdullah.
“I have a lot more active politics ahead of me and look forward to making a positive contribution in the service of J&K and the country”, he said and added; “Therefore I would like to respectfully withdraw my name from consideration and I look forward to supporting the joint opposition consensus candidate”.
“I’m very grateful to Mamata didi for proposing my name. I’m also grateful to all senior leaders who offered me their support”, Abdullah added.
The process of filing nominations for the presidential election began on 15 June. Nominations can be submitted until 29 June and the papers will be scrutinized on 30 June 30. The last day for withdrawal of candidature is July 2. The presidential elections will be held on 18 July and the results will be declared on 21 July.
It is worth mentioning that Abdullah’s name was proposed after the NCP chief Sharad Pawar declined the offer to become the presidential candidate because the numbers were not in his favour.