NC Chief Farooq Abdullah withdraws his name as a Joint Presidential Candidate

Farooq Abdullah, the leader of the National Conference, removed his name from the list of presidential candidates on Saturday, citing the need to help ‘navigate’ the uncertain times in Jammu and Kashmir.

Farooq Abdullah, the leader of the National Conference, removed his name from the list of presidential candidates on Saturday, citing the need to help ‘navigate’ the uncertain times in Jammu and Kashmir.

“I withdraw my name from consideration as a possible joint opposition candidate for the President of India. I believe that Jammu and Kashmir is passing through a critical juncture and my efforts are required to help navigate these uncertain times,” said NC chief Farooq Abdullah.

He thanked West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and other Opposition leaders for taking his name into consideration, saying, “I’ve a lot more active politics ahead of me and look forward to making a positive contribution in the service of Jammu and Kashmir and the country. I’m grateful to Mamata didi for proposing my name. I’m also grateful to all the senior leaders who offered me their support.”

Banerjee called for a conference of the Opposition parties to pick a common candidate to run against the Narendra Modi-led NDA government in the Centre ahead of the presidential elections on July 18. Nearly 17 opposition parties were represented during the gathering.

Sharad Pawar, the leader of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), has previously declined Banerjee’s offer to run for President. Abdullah and Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, former Bengal governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi, were both mentioned as possible candidates for the position.