Omar finally makes his mark in J&K politics
Omar Abdullah, who led the NC campaign to emerge as the single largest party in J&K Assembly, has finally made his mark in the complex politics of the border state that has been wracked by terrorism for over two decades.india Updated: Dec 28, 2008 17:05 IST
Omar Abdullah, who led the NC campaign to emerge as the single largest party in J&K Assembly and is seen as a prospective Chief Minister, has finally made his mark in the complex politics of the border state that has been wracked by terrorism for over two decades.
The 38-year-old scion of Kashmir's 'first family', the Abdullahs, Omar, who is known for his trademark extempore speeches, started his political career as an MP in the 12th Lok Sabha in 1998 and was re-elected a year later. He went on to become the youngest union minister at the age of 29 under then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
He served as Union Minister of State, Commerce and Industry in the NDA government. After two years, he was made Union Minister of State of External Affairs.
Omar, grandson of Kashmir's tallest leader Sheikh Abdullah, was handed over the party's mantle by his father and former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah in 2002.
Even though the party emerged as the single largest group in the 2002 Assembly polls, it was a dismal start for Omar, a former management consultant, as he lost from the family stronghold of Ganderbal in the Valley.
"I wanted to begin from the same seat where I had tasted defeat, the first one. Of course... I knew the vote against me in 2002 was the anger of people and all I wanted to do was to convince them to give me a chance," Omar, who was educated in Mumbai and Scotland and has Masters degree in Business Administration, said after reclaiming the seat.