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Farooq Abdullah not to contest upcoming Lok Sabha election from Srinagar, says Omar Abdullah

Last Updated on April 3, 2024 at 3:03 pm

National Conference president and sitting MP from Srinagar, Dr. Farooq Abdullah will not contest the upcoming Lok Sabha polls because of his health reasons.

The announcement was made today by his son and NC vice president Omar Abdullah at a party rally in Rawalpora in the outskirts of Srinagar.

Omar said that Dr.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 said.

He said it is now the party’s responsibility to field the best candidate from the constituency. He hoped that the voters would help the NC candidate succeed so that he or she becomes a voice of the people of Srinagar in Delhi.

NC has not yet announced its candidates for the Srinagar and Baramulla seats, but has fielded Mian Altaf for the Anantnag seat.

Farooq Abdullah had shifted to the central politics in 2002 when his son Omar Abdullah was chosen to lead the NC. 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.

Abdullah joined the Congress led United Progressive Alliance government as a Cabinet Minister of New and Renewable Energy. He contested the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat again in the 2014 elections but was defeated by the Peoples Democratic Party candidate Tariq Hameed Karra. However, Karra resigned from Lok Sabha in 2017 leading to a by-election for the Srinagar parliamentary seat which Abdullah won defeating the PDP candidate Nazir Ahmed Khan. He won the polls again in 2019.

Omar Abdullah said the upcoming Lok Sabha election was very different from the past polls. “For the last 30 years, the elections have been affected in one way or the other due to which the people did not participate in the polls — be it because of the gun or boycott calls. Our politics in Srinagar had been limited. Few areas used to come out to vote and our politics used to run on that.

“This time, the atmosphere will be different. We will not see any boycott calls, and the impact of guns will be far less. This time, the people of Srinagar have to decide whether they want to participate in politics here or not. They have to decide whether they want to raise their voice or not, whether they want to choose their representative or not,” Omar added.