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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

Omar emerges stronger, challenges rise too

Arun Joshi, Hindustan Times  Srinagar, August 09, 2009
First Published: 21:35 IST(9/8/2009) | Last Updated: 21:37 IST(9/8/2009)

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has emerged stronger after the July 28-30 episode that placed him ill-famed sex scandal of 2006 and cleared him as clean within 48 hours, but the challenges before him have increased manifold as well.
 
Governor N N Vohra rejected his resignation, which he had submitted immediately after the charge was leveled against him in the Assembly July 28 . Thereafter, he has been greeted with one good news after another.
 
He chose to test waters in the “life threatening” rapids of Sindh river on August 5 – the day two-month-long Amarnath pilgrimage concluded, peacefully, contrast  to the last year’s agitations and clashes which left 59 people dead and life paralysed in the state for three months .
 
Pilgrims stayed and passed through the same stretches of the 100 acres of land, which had ignited the flames of hatred in the state last year, without even a  single protest.

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This added to his confidence. This was the first good news for him and his government ever since he took office on January 5. “ It was a great thing to have happened ,” Omar told Hindustan Times of government’s efforts .
  
Friday-  when he returned to the Assembly for the first time after the July 28 resignation -  there was calm in the House. His risk of resigning had silenced his critics. “ He’s good. The charges were wrong. PDP should not have done that,” said Riaz Ahmad, a taxi driver.
 
But the PDP is not apologetic. “ Let judicial commission probe be ordered to bring out truth,” says PDP president Mehbooba Mufti. But the man on the street is not interested . They wanted Omar to deliver.
 
The unemployed  are running out of patience and so are employees waiting for the implementation of the sixth pay commission, LoC is showing signs of becoming hot, militants are regrouping and  the bureaucrats are still rooted in the 20th century mindset. He has to confront all these challenges – smooth ride can turn into windstorms- Omar has seen it in the past seven months.

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