National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah won’t contest Lok Sabha elections, announces son Omar


National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah will not contest the upcoming Lok Sabha election due to health concerns, his son Omar Abdullah announced on Wednesday.

National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah is a sitting MP from Srinagar.

“He (Farooq Abdullah) has taken permission from (party’s general secretary) (Ali Mohammad) Sagar and other party members to not contest the polls this time because of his health,” Omar Abdullah was quoted by PTI as saying.

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The NC vice president said it is now the party’s responsibility to field the best candidate from the constituency with the hope that the voters would help him succeed so that he becomes a voice of the people in Delhi.

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Abdullah is a sitting MP from Srinagar, which he won in 2019 by defeating his People’s Democratic Party (PDP) rival Aga Syed Mohsin by over 70,000 votes. It was the fourth electoral win for the NC veteran.

In his political career spanning more than four decades, Abdullah has lost an election only once. In 2014, the three-time chief minister of erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir had lost to Tariq Hameed Karra of the PDP.

He won in 2017 after Karra had resigned from the PDP and his seat in 2016.

First elected to the Lok Sabha in 1980, Farooq Abdullah returned to state politics and succeeded his father Sheikh Abdullah as the chief minister after the latter’s death in 1982.

In the 2002 J&K assembly elections, Omar Abdullah was chosen to lead the NC, while the 86-year-old Farooq Abdullah shifted base to the Centre.

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Farooq Abdullah was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2002 from Jammu and Kashmir and then re-elected in 2009. He resigned from the Rajya Sabha in May 2009 and won a seat in the Lok Sabha from Srinagar.

In the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the seats of J&K including Udhampur and Jammu will vote on April 19 and 26. Anantnag-Rajouri votes on May 7, Srinagar on May 13 and Baramulla on May 20. The counting of votes will take place on June 4.


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