Omar Abdullah is the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir. He is the youngest one to hold the office of Chief Minster. He is the son of Farookh Abdullah and grandson of Sheikh Abdullah. All three generations had remained active in politics and served as the Chief Minister of the state. It was Sheikh Abdullah who laid the foundation of Muslim Conference which was later rechristened as National Conference.
Omar Abdullah was born on 10th March, 1970 in United Kingdom. His mother Mollie, a British Christian and a nurse by profession had apprehensions regarding Omar joining the Politics and she was also against this idea. Omar completed his school level education from Burn Hall School, Srinagar and Lawrence Public School, Sanawar. He graduated in Commerce stream from Sydenham College, Mumbai. He also took admission for his MBA course in University of Strathclyde, Scotland; but never completed the degree. Omar had married Payal Singh, an army officer’s daughter and has two sons Zahir and Zamir.
Before formally entering the politics Omar worked with ITC in its International Business Division. He was posted at Hyderabad and Mumbai.
In 1998, Omar joined the politics and became the Member of Parliament of 12th Lok Sabha. He became the youngest minister at an age of 29 years. In 1998-99, he was the member of the Committee on Transport and Tourism and Ministry of Tourism’s Consultative Committee. In 1999, he was re-elected for 13th Lok Sabha. On October 13th, 1999, he took oath as Union Minister of State, Commerce and Industry. On 22nd July, 2001 he became the youngest minister to hold the portfolio of External Affairs. But on 23rd December, 2002, he resigned from the post to concentrate on party work.
He became the President of National Conference on 23rd June, 2002. He replaced his father Farookh Abdullah for this position. He lost from his constituency Ganderbal, in the Kashmir assembly elections held in the year 2002. But he was again elected as the President of National Conference in 2006 and he went ahead to contest the polls and won the same seat in 2008 Kashmir elections.
In 2006 he met the then Pakistani President, Parvez Mushraff. This step of his was not much appreciated by the central governance. But the public of Kashmir applauded his action and gave him a warm welcome. On 9th July, 2009 he escaped a bid on his life when he was attacked by two rifle grenades by militants. He was talking to his party workers at that moment.
After 2008 state assembly elections, National Conference won the majority of seats in the state. In coalition with Congress party, Omar Abdullah formed the government on 5th January, 2009. He was the 11th Chief Minister of the state and the youngest one to hold the office. On 28th July, 2009 Omar submitted his resignation over the allegations made in sex scandal case. But it was turned down by Governor Vohra.
Though, Omar had achieved success at such a young age, he is often criticized and alleged as a non-serious politician. His first failure was the Shopian murder case of two women. Media claimed that the women were raped and murdered by personnel of Paramilitary Forces. Omar could not handle the case properly and there was widespread resentment and protest in the valley.
He is also accused of receiving a huge amount of bribe for a prominent power project in valley. To repress the ongoing protest Omar implemented the controversial ‘public safety act’ on the people of the state. He had to face criticism from his own party’s leaders.