India Insight

Omar Abdullah: a successful year in office?

Omar Abdullah, the youngest ever chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, completed a year in office on January 5.

Omar AbdullahThe administration, youth and people of the state had huge expectations from Abdullah after the Jammu & Kashmir National Conference formed a coalition government with the Congress party last year.

“When he came into people, he wanted to prove himself as an excellent leader, but looking down a year that hope is slowly but surely diminishing because nothing concrete is happening on the ground,” says Raja Muneeb, a local resident of Srinagar.

From the Shopian deaths to his name coming up in a sex scandal, the past year has not been a smooth ride for Omar Abdullah.

“We have learned lessons from our mistakes. If we don’t learn lessons, then we will repeat those mistakes. I don’t want to forget anything but will learn lessons from them,” the 39-year-old Abdullah was quoted as saying.

Has Omar Abdullah taken on more than he can handle?

When Omar Abdullah took over as Kashmir’s youngest Chief Minister in January 2009, his coronation befitted a king.

Backed by a resurgent Congress party at the centre, 38-year-old Abdullah’s appointment was seen as a positive step towards bringing a fresh perspective to the troubled state’s political logjams.

That Abdullah came from a family of Kashmir’s best known politicians and was the third generation member to ascend to the post of CM made it imperative that he live up to the expectations of many who wanted an immediate solution to Jammu and Kashmir’s complex problems.