National Conference (NC) president and former Union minister Farooq Abdullah’s son and J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has said his father will not contest the Assembly election scheduled for October this year.
“No Dr (Farooq Abdullah) Sahib is not contesting this time,” Chief Minister Omar Abdullah told a local news agency. “His health is not allowing him to contest the polls.”
The announcement that the senior Abdullah would not contest the Assembly election came hours after the Congress said it would go alone in the election, ruling out any pre-poll alliance with coalition partner NC.
The senior Abdullah lost the recent Lok Sabha polls from Srinagar constituency, the first electoral defeat since he joined politics three decades ago. In 2008, the former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir had won the Assembly election from Hazratbal and Sonawar segments in Srinagar. Abdullah’s margin of victory, however, was not big. Later, he won the Lok Sabha election from Srinagar in 2009.
This time, however, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate from Srinagar Tariq Hameed Karra not only defeated Farooq Abdullah but also secured more votes than him from both Hazratbal and Sonawar Assembly segments of Srinagar parliamentary seat.
Meanwhile, declining to comment on from where he would contest the Assembly election, Omar Abdullah said, “We should wait till the list comes out…only then people will come to know from where I am fighting.”
The NC is planning to shift Omar Abdullah to a safer seat. Last time, he contested the Assembly elections from his family’s traditional seat Ganderbal. However, this time Omar’s prospects from Ganderbal are dim as the opposition candidate secured more votes than his party in Ganderbal.