- Farooq Abdullah withdrew his name as joint opposition candidate for presidential polls
- Abdullah's name was proposed for the president's election by West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee
- He wanted to focus on helping Jammu and Kashmir through a critical time
President Election: National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah on Saturday withdrew his name for consideration as the joint opposition candidate for the presidential polls, saying he would like to contribute to navigating Jammu and Kashmir which is "passing through a critical juncture".
Abdullah, however, thanked the opposition leaders for proposing his name as their candidate for the polls next month.
In a statement released by his party, the Lok Sabha member said he was honoured that his name was proposed by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as a possible joint opposition candidate for the office of President of India. "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.
He said he had discussions with senior colleagues of his party and family about this "unexpected" development. "I am deeply touched by the support that I've received and honoured to have been considered for the highest office in the country. I believe that Jammu and Kashmir are passing through a critical juncture and my efforts are required to help navigate these uncertain times," he said.
The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said he believed he has a 'lot more active politics ahead of me and looks forward to making a positive contribution in the service of JK 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 NC statement said, conveying his gratitude to Banerjee and all the senior leaders who offered their support.