Updated: June 19, 2022 6:31:20 am
National Conference president and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah has declined to be the joint Opposition’s Presidential candidate, saying that the Union Territory needs him to “help navigate these uncertain times” and that “a lot more active politics is ahead of him”.
“I am honoured to have had my name proposed as a possible joint Opposition candidate for the office of President of India by Mamata Banerjee Sahiba. Subsequent to Mamata Didi proposing my name, I have received a number of calls from Opposition leaders offering their support for my candidature,” Abdullah said in a statement on Saturday.
“I have taken a few days to discuss this unexpected development with my family and senior colleagues. I am deeply touched by the support that I’ve received and honoured to have been considered for the highest office in the country”.
The former chief minister, however, decided to withdraw his name from consideration, saying his efforts were required in the Union Territory. “I believe that Jammu and Kashmir is passing through a critical juncture and my efforts are required to help navigate these uncertain times,” he said in the statement.
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“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. Therefore I would like to respectfully withdraw my name from consideration and I look forward to supporting the joint Opposition consensus candidate,” the statement added.
Abdullah said he was “very grateful to Mamata didi for proposing my name”. “I’m also grateful to all the senior leaders who offered me their support,” he said.
Abdullah is the second leader after NCP chief Sharad Pawar to turn down the offer to be the joint Opposition candidate for the post of President.
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