Srinagar, Nov 18: Former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah would not contest the election for the post of National Conference (NC) president on December 5.
Talking to the media, he said he has not resigned or stepped down as was being reported by a section of the media.
“I will continue as the president till December 5 when my party will elect a new president,” he said.
Abdullah said NC is a democratic party.
“After every three years, elections for the post of president are held in the party. The elections were due and I told them I wouldn’t seek re-election this time. I told them to elect a new president who is responsible and understanding and who strengthens the party. Every leader is free to file the nomination papers and it is up to the delegates to elect whosoever they want as president,” he said.
The NC president said some people were saying that I had resigned.
“Why will I resign when I have led the party in very difficult circumstances? This is a normal election process in our party and a new president will be elected,” he said.
Reports indicate that Omar Abdullah is likely to be elected as the new party president on December 5.
NC General Secretary Ali Muhammed Sagar issued an election notification on Friday.
He said in the notification that after completion of seven-phase election for the basic committees to provincial committees, an election schedule for the final phase to elect party president was being issued.
Earlier, NC on its Twitter handle wrote that Farooq Abdullah's announcement was surprising.
In the notification, Sagar said, “Dr Farooq Abdullah Sahab has informed his colleagues of his decision to step down as NC president. In spite of the best efforts of senior colleagues in the party Dr Sahab was adamant that he would not review his decision.
In light of this sudden announcement, which has caught everyone by surprise, the NC General Secretary, as per the party constitution, has been tasked with conducting the election for party president, which would be completed on December 5.
“Until that time Dr Sahab continues as NC president,” NC wrote on its Twitter handle.
Reports said that Farooq Abdullah had made his intentions clear regarding not contesting the elections during a party meeting of assembly segment incharges, district presidents, and other office bearers.
“He told them that his health does not allow him to carry on. During a meeting on Thursday, he was repeatedly requested by the party leaders to continue as party president but he declined. And after that it was decided to issue an election notification and hold the election on December 5,” the reports said.
Omar Abdullah has been NC president in the past too.
He was first made the NC president on June 23, 2002 and later re-elected for the post in 2006.