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Farooq Abdullah steps down from the post of NC president

Speculation is that 85-year-old Abdullah will assume the role of party patron and his son, Omar Abdullah, currently the party’s vice-president, is likely to succeed him as the new party chief.

Statesman News Service | Jammu |

In a surprise development in Jammu and Kashmir, veteran politician and former chief minister of the state Farooq Abdullah, on Friday, announced his decision to step down from the post of National Conference president, saying it is time the mantle was handed over to the new generation.

Speculation is that 85-year-old Abdullah will assume the role of party patron and his son, Omar Abdullah, currently the party’s vice-president, is likely to succeed him as the new party chief.

Farooq, who represents the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency, became National Conference president for the first time in 1983.

All efforts of senior NC leaders to persuade Farooq to reconsider his decision to quit the post remained futile.

Farooq will continue to be president of the NC till 5 December when fresh elections will be held for the post, a party spokesman said.

“I will not be contesting for the post of president any longer. The election for the post will be held on 5 December. It is time for the new generation to take over the responsibilities,” Abdullah said.

“Anyone from the party can contest for the post. It is a democratic exercise,” Abdullah said.

Announcing the political development, National Conference stated; “Dr Farooq Abdullah Sahib has informed his colleagues of his decision to step down as president of NC. In spite of the best efforts of senior colleagues in the party Dr Sahib was adamant that he wouldn’t review his decision. In light of this sudden announcement which has caught everyone by surprise the party General Secretary, as per the party constitution, has been tasked with conducting the election for party president which will be completed on 5th December. Until that time Dr Sahib continues as President of the party”.