Friday, October 21, 2011

Omar Abdullah

HE is a Indian Kashmiri politician and the scion of Kashmir's 'first family', the Abdullah family who became the 11th and the youngest Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir after forming a government in coalition with the Congress party, on January 5, 2009.

Prior to this he was a member of 14th Lok Sabha, representing Srinagar constituency of Jammu and Kashmir, India. He was a Union Minister of State for External affairs in Atal Bihari Vajpayee's NDA government, from July 23, 2001 to December 23, 2002, when he resigned from the post in protest against the violence in Gujarat in 2002.

He is the grandson of Sher-e-Kashmir, Sheikh Abdullah, who formed Kashmir�s first political party the Muslim Conference in 1932, which was later rechristen as National Conference. He remained the Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir 1948-1953, and also Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir two times, 1975 and 1977. After his death in 1982, his son Farooq Abdullah dominated the political arena for many years and remained the Chief Ministers of Jammu and Kashmir thrice in 1982, 1986 and 1996. Farooq�s son Omar joined politics in 1998, as a Lok Sabha member, a feat he repeated in subsequent three elections and also remained a Union minister; he took on the mantle of National Conference from his father in 2002, though he lost his own seat of Ganderbal during the 2002 state assembly elections, and so did his party, the political mandate; four year later, he fought once again from the very seat and won in the 2008 Kashmir Elections.

Omar Abdullah born 10 March 1970, is the son of Farooq Abdullah and grandson of Sheikh Abdullah, both have remained Chief Ministers of Jammu and Kashmir.His mother Mollie, a British Christian, and a Nurse by profession, was not in favor of him joining politics. Early on he studied at the Burn Hall School Srinagar. He later studied at the exclusive institution The Lawrence School, Sanawar. He is an alumnus of prestigious Sydenham College, Mumbai.After that he joined University of Strathclyde, Scotland, where he did his B.Com. and MBA.

He married Payal Singh, daughter of an Army officer, Kran Ram Singh from Delhi on September 1, 1994, and the couple had two sons, Zahir and Zamir hence . His sister Sarah Abdullah is married to Rajesh Pilot's son Sachin Pilot.

In 1998, he was elected to 12th Lok Sabha. In 1998-99, he was Member, Committee on Transport and Tourism and Member, Consultative Committee, Ministry of Tourism. He was the youngest Minister at the age of 29. In 1999, he was re-elected to 13th Lok Sabha (2nd term).[14] On October 13, 1999 he took oath as Union Minister of State, Commerce and Industry. On July 22, 2001, he became the youngest Union Minister, when he was made Union Minister of State for External affairs, a post he resigned from on December 23, 2002, as protest to the 2002 Gujarat violence.

On June 23, 2002, he became the President of National Conference replacing his father Farooq Abdullah.he was re-elected as party's President for a second term in 2006.

In March 2006, much to the disapproval of the centre, Omar Abdullah had a one-on-one meeting with Pakistan President, Pervez Musharaf in Islamabad. This was the first meeting of its kind between a main-stream politician from Jammu & Kashmir and the Pakistani government thereby re-enforcing Omar's growing commitment to the solution of the Jammu & Kashmir cause - no matter what the stakes might be; Omar received a rousing reception by thousands of Kashmiris upon his return from there.

On July 9, 2007, Omar escaped a bid on his life when suspected militants threw two rifle grenades targeted at him. The incident happened when Omar was interacting with party workers at a party leader's house.

On July 22, 2008, Omar gave a passionate speech during the 2008 Lok Sabha vote of confidence , which was praised by almost all quarters, and even won him fans on the net. He was also seen briefly, playing himself in director, Apoorva Lakhia�s film, Mission Istanbul (2008), based on international terrorism.

After the 2008 Kashmir Elections, the National Conference won the maximum number of seats, and formed a coalition government with Congress party, and Omar was sworn in as the 11th Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir on January 5, 2009 at the General Zoravar Singh Stadium in the University of Jammu, Jammu, raising hope amongst the people of Jammu and Kashmir who have been reeling under insurgency and violence since 1989 .As during the Election Campaign ,National Conference has accepted that Kashmir is yet to be resolved and Election is for governance whileas Separatists APHC (All Parties Hurriyat Conference) are for resolution of Kashmir Issue.Omar has promised to facilitate the talks between government of India and Pro-Freedom APHC leaders.

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