SRINAGAR: Farooq Abdullah, a three-time chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, has decided to quit as the president of National Conference (NC) which is the oldest mainstream political party of the erstwhile state split up in two Union territories in August 2019.
However, he has "agreed to continue to discharge the duties of the party president till his successor is chosen through a proper election process", a party spokesman said.
Abdullah confirming it said, "I will continue as the NC president till someone else is ready to take the responsibilities as such."
Earlier during the day on Friday, party spokesman Imran Nabi Dar said in a statement here that 85-year-old Abdullah has informed his colleagues of his decision to step down as president of the NC. "In spite of the best efforts of senior colleagues in the party Dr. Sahib was adamant that he wouldn’t review his decision. In the light of this sudden announcement which has caught everyone by surprise the party General Secretary, as per the party constitution, has been tasked with conducting the election for party president which will be completed on the 5th December", he said. He added, "Until that time Dr. Sahib continues as president of the party."
Abdullah was first elected as NC president replacing his father legendary Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah in 1981 and continued to hold the post till 2002.
He quit as the NC president in 2002 after switching to the national-level politics and subsequently becoming a Rajya Sabha member and a minister in the NDA government at the Centre. He was replaced as NC president by his son Omar Abdullah who is the vice present of party since 2009 after his father was made its president again.
Farooq Abdullah is a sitting member of the Lok Sabha, representing his home constituency.
The party sources said that he will remain associated with the NC as its patron after the new president is elected and as such will continue to play an important role in the party affairs and decision-making....