National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah on Saturday withdrew his name as a probable Opposition candidate for the president’s post.

The presidential election is scheduled for July 18 and the votes will be counted on July 21.

In a statement, Abdullah said his name was suggested by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during the meeting of the Opposition leaders on June 15. The Opposition leaders had decided to field a common candidate for the presidential election.

Abdullah said he feels honoured to have his name nominated for the president’s post and that he received a number of calls from Opposition leaders offering their support for his candidature.

“I have taken a few days to discuss this unexpected development with my family and senior colleagues,” Abdullah said. “I believe that Jammu and Kashmir is passing through a critical juncture and my efforts are required to help navigate these uncertain times.”

The National Conference said that he believes he has a lot of active politics ahead of him. “Therefore I would like to respectfully withdraw my name from consideration and I look forward to supporting the joint opposition consensus candidate,” he said.

Abdullah is the second political leader to withdraw his name as the joint candidate of the Opposition for the post of president.

On Monday, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar had said that he was not in the race for the president’s post.

The president is elected by the members of the electoral college consisting of MPs from both Houses of Parliament and MLAs of all states, including the Union Territories of Delhi and Puducherry.