Omar Abdullah

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Omar Abdullah
Omar Abdullah.jpg
Abdullah in 2014
Leader of Opposition in J&K Legislative Assembly
Assumed office
2015 - 2018
8th Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir
In office
5 January 2009 – 8 January 2015
GovernorNarinder Nath Vohra
DeputyTara Chand
Preceded byGovernor's rule
Succeeded byGovernor's rule
Member of the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly
for Ganderbal
In office
Minister of State for External Affairs
In office
23 July 2001 – 23 December 2002
Prime MinisterAtal Bihari Vajpayee
Preceded byKrishnam Raju
Succeeded byDigvijay Singh
Member of the Indian Parliament
for Srinagar
In office
10 March 1998 – 18 May 2009
Preceded byGhulam Mohammad Mir Magami
Succeeded byFarooq Abdullah
Personal details
Born (1970-03-10) 10 March 1970 (age 49)
Rochford, Essex, England
Political partyJammu and Kashmir National Conference
Payal Nath
(m. 1994; separated 2011)
ChildrenZahir and Zamir (sons)
ParentsFarooq Abdullah and Molly Abdullah
Residence40, Gupkar Road, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India
EducationBachelor of Commerce
Alma materBurn Hall School, Sydenham College, University of Mumbai

Omar Abdullah (About this soundpronunciation ; born 10 March 1970) is an Indian politician and the scion of one of the most prominent political families of Jammu and Kashmir, the Abdullah family,[4][5][6] he became the 11th and the youngest Chief Minister of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, after forming a government in coalition with the Congress party, on 5 January 2009.[6][7]

He is currently the Leader of opposition in Jammu & Kashmir legislative assembly (Member of the Legislative Assembly from Beerwah constituency of Budgam district.) [8]

He was a member of 14th Lok Sabha, representing Srinagar constituency of Jammu and Kashmir, India. He was the Union Minister of State for External affairs in Atal Bihari Vajpayee's NDA government, from 23 July 2001 to 23 December 2002. He resigned from NDA government in October 2002 to concentrate on party work.[9]

Omar joined politics in 1998, as a Lok Sabha member, a feat he repeated in subsequent three elections and also remained the 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 years later, he contested once again from the same seat and won in the 2008 Kashmir State Elections.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Omar Abdullah was born on 10 March 1970 in Rochford, Essex, United Kingdom. He is a grandson of Sheikh Abdullah, and the only son of Farooq Abdullah, a physician. All three men have held the position of Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir.[10] His mother, Mollie, an Englishwoman and a nurse by profession, has said that she was not in favor of him joining politics.[11] He studied at the Burn Hall School located at Sonwar Bagh, Srinagar and then at Lawrence School, Sanawar.[12] He is a B.Com graduate of Sydenham College.[13]

He married Payal Nath,[14] but on September 2011, he confirmed that he and his wife have separated.[1][2][3] His younger sister, Sara Pilot, is married to Sachin Pilot, son of Rajesh Pilot. He is a big football fan.

He had a role in director Apoorva Lakhia’s film, Mission Istanbul (2008), based on international terrorism, playing himself.[15][16]

Political career[edit]

In 1998, at the age of 29, Omar Abdullah was elected to the 12th Lok Sabha, becoming the youngest minister. In 1998–99, he was a member of both the Committee on Transport and Tourism and the Ministry of Tourism's Consultative Committee. In 1999, he was elected to 13th Lok Sabha (2nd term as a Member of Parliament).[17] On 13 October 1999, he took oath as Union Minister of State, Commerce and Industry. On 22 July 2001, he became the youngest Union Minister, when he was made Union Minister of State for External affairs. He resigned from the post on 23 December 2002, to concentrate on party work.[9]

On 23 June 2002, he became the President of the National Conference party, replacing his father, Farooq Abdullah.[18] He lost his Ganderbal seat in the Kashmir assembly elections held in September–October 2002.[19] Abdullah was re-elected as the National Conference party's president in 2006.

In March 2006, much to the disapproval of the centre[citation needed], Omar Abdullah had a one-on-one meeting with Pakistan's president, Pervez Musharaf, in Islamabad. This was the first meeting of its kind between a mainstream politician from Jammu & Kashmir and the Pakistani government, thereby re-enforcing Omar's growing commitment to the solution of the Jammu & Kashmir cause. Omar received a rousing reception by thousands of Kashmiris upon his return.[citation needed]

On 22 July 2008, Omar gave a speech during the 2008 Lok Sabha vote of confidence,[20] which was praised and won him fans on the internet.[21][22]

After the 2008 Kashmir Elections, the National Conference won the maximum number of seats, and formed a coalition government with the Congress party, and Omar was sworn in as the 11th Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir on 5 January 2009 at the General Zoravar Singh Auditorium in the University of Jammu, Jammu, raising hope amongst the people of Jammu and Kashmir who had been reeling under insurgency and violence caused by cross border terrorism since 1989.[23]

In 2009, Omar Abdullah was accused of covering up the rape and murder of two young women in Shopian, which was allegedly perpetrated by Indian Paramilitary Forces.[24] Many regarded this as Abdullah's first failure, as even moderates felt Abdullah had bowed to pressure from New Delhi.[25]


  1. ^ a b Nairita (15 September 2011). "JK CM Omar Abdullah confirms Divorce but not Marriage". News Oneindia. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Omar Abdullah divorcing wife after 17 years". Times of India. 15 September 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Omar Abdullah divorcing wife after 17 years". Indian Express. 15 September 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
  4. ^ "the third-generation Abdullah family member following the footsteps of the family peers". The Hindu. 5 January 2009.
  5. ^ a b Omar Abdullah not just another political scion CNN-IBN, 5 Jan 2009.
  6. ^ a b Omar Abdullah takes oath as youngest J&K chief minister Archived 30 January 2011 at the Wayback Machine NDTV, Monday, 5 January 2009 2:01 PM.
  7. ^ Omar Abdullah to be sworn in as J&K CM today Times of India, 5 January 2009.
  8. ^ "MLA Beerwah, Omar Abdullah during his visit to Beerwah on Wednesday". Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  9. ^ a b "Omar Abdullah resigns from Union Cabinet". 14 October 2002. Retrieved 9 July 2009.
  10. ^ Omar Abdullah, November, 2001
  11. ^ NEWSMAKER: Omar Abdullah Business Standard, New Delhi, 2 January 2009.
  12. ^ "CEC, Omar Abdullah attend Sanawar school celebrations". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 5 October 2009.
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 12 May 2016. Retrieved 24 April 2016.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ Omar Abdullah sworn in as J&K CM Times of India, 5 Jan 2009.
  15. ^ Apoorva gets lookalikes! Times of India, Times of India, 25 July 2008.
  16. ^ "Director Apoorva Lakhia on Mission Istanbul". 24 July 2008. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
  17. ^ Portraits of India's Parliamentarians for the New Millennium, by R. C. Rajamani. Published by Gyan Pub. House, 2000. ISBN 81-212-0692-8. Page 218.
  18. ^ Omar Abdullah–Profile Conflict Between India and Pakistan: An Encyclopedia, by Peter Lyon. Published by ABC-CLIO, 2008. ISBN 1-57607-712-8. Page 1.
  19. ^ "Omar loses Ganderbal, NC prepares to sit in Opposition". 10 October 2002. Retrieved 13 August 2009.
  20. ^ Give us a voice, says NC’s Omar Abdullah, floors House with own Archived 4 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine Indian Express, 23 July 2008.
  21. ^ Omar Abdullah wins many fans on YouTube Archived 26 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine News, 24 July 2008.
  22. ^ Omar Abdullah to go Kalam way on internet Live Mint, 5 January 2009.
  23. ^ Kashmir pins hopes on young, energetic Omar Abdullah The Hindu, Tuesday, 6 January 2009: 1515 Hrs.
  24. ^ By Altaf Hussain (7 July 2009). "Another woman 'killed' in Kashmir". BBC News, Srinagar. Retrieved 9 July 2009.
  25. ^ S Murari (22 June 2009). "Kashmir in turmoil over suspected rape and murder". Retrieved 2 July 2009.

External links[edit]

Lok Sabha
Preceded by
Ghulam Mohammad Mir Magami
Member of Parliament
for Srinagar

Succeeded by
Farooq Abdullah
Political offices
Preceded by
(Governor's Rule)
Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir
Succeeded by
(Governor's Rule)