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Omar Abdullah -- meteoric rise of an "outsider"

india Updated: Dec 30, 2008 19:36 IST

Shedding the tag of an "outsider" to evolving as a matured politician in a decade--that is the meteoric rise of Omar Abdullah who is set to be Jammu and Kashmir's youngest chief minister.

Ten years are not a long time in politics, especially in the complex cauldron of insurgency-hit Jammu and Kashmir, but Omar, the business management expert, showed exceptional adaptability, political acumen and articulation to emerge from the shadows of his more illustrious father Farooq Abdullah and carve a niche for himself.

Considered an outsider initially for having education in Mumbai and Scotland, 38-year-old Omar, holder of a masters degree in business administration, not only learnt fluent Kashmiri quickly to make himself acceptable among the masses but led the party through a testing time when it was in opposition and reached out to the people of the state.

As he climbed the political ladder from a party MP to head of the party, Omar showed level-headedness and articulation far beyond his age and that belied his boyish looks.

The qualities of a mature politician in young Abdullah came forth in Lok Sabha in July this year during a debate on Indo-US nuclear deal when he spoke extempore in favour of the deal, leaving almost the entire House spell bound.

He started his own blog which received maximum hits from the youth of Kashmir and Omar used this forum to reach out to youth and take their constructive suggestions for inclusion in his party's manifesto.