Farooq bows out of President election race

Earlier, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, too, had declined the offer to be the Opposition’s consensus candidate for President.

Published: 19th June 2022 10:30 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th June 2022 10:30 AM   |  A+A-

National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah

National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah (Photo | PTI)

NEW DELHI:  National Conference chief and former Jammu & Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah on Saturday declined the invite to be the Opposition’s candidate for President, dealing a blow to West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee’s efforts to propose a consensus name. Thanking Mamata for the offer, Abdullah said he wants to remain in active politics as he has a lot more to contribute to the country.

“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,” he said. 

Earlier, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, too, had declined the offer to be the Opposition’s consensus candidate for President. Apart from Pawar and Abdullah, the Mamata-led Opposition meeting on June 15 also suggested former West Bengal governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi as the third choice. According to sources, both Pawar and Abdullah rejected the invite due to the Opposition’s weak electoral strength for Presidential polls. “Now, Gopalkrishna Gandhi is the only name in the race but he is yet to say yes or no,” remarked a senior Congress leader.

The next meeting of Opposition parties on Presidential polls may take place on June 20 or 21 in Mumbai or Delhi. “The final decision may come at this meeting. But, Abdullah’s refusal to be the joint consensus candidate has given a jolt to Didi’s effort to put a united face against the NDA,” said an opposition leader.


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