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Omar Abdullah Biography

Omar Abdullah became the eleventh and the youngest Chief Minister of the northern state of Jammu &Kashmir on January 5, 2009. Omar Abdullah, the president of the National Conference party formed a government in coalition with the Congress party.

He belongs to a prominent Kashmiri political family and has served as a Union Minister of State for External affairs in the NDA government of Prime Minister A B Vajpayee in 2001.

Omar Abdullah was elected to the 14th Lok Sabha from Srinagar constituency of Kashmir.

Born on 10th March 1970, Omar is the scion of the Abdullah family. His grandfather Sheik Abdullah formed the Muslim Conference, Kashmir’s first political party in 1932. The party was later renamed the National Conference. His grandfather Sheik Abdullah and father Farooq Abdullah both have been the Chief Ministers of Kashmir. His mother Mollie is British and a nurse by profession. His sister Sara is married to Sachin Pilot.

Omar studied at Burn Hall School in Srinagar and Lawrence School Sanawar. He later graduated from Sydenham College in Mumbai and then went for an MBA from University of Strathclyde, UK. He worked for a short time with ITC in Mumbai.

He is married to Payal Nath and they have two sons- Zahir and Zamir.

Political Career
Omar Abdullah followed in the footsteps of his family and joined politics in 1998 when he was elected to the 12th Lok Sabha and was made a member of the Lok Sabha Committee on Transport and Tourism. He was also a member of the Consultative Committee on Tourism.

In 1999 he was reelected to the 13th Lok Sabha and on 13th October was sworn as a Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry.

In 2001, as part of the National Democratic Alliance of the BJP led government, he was made the Union Minister of State for External Affairs. He resigned from the post after a few months as he wanted to concentrate on party work. He remains the youngest ever Union Minister of External Affairs.

In 2002, he replaced his father Farooq Abdullah as the President of the National Conference. He lost the state assembly elections from Ganderbal in 2002 but was reelected as the party President in 2006. In 2008, he won the state assembly elections from Ganderbal. His party the National Conference won the maximum number of seats and formed a coalition government with Congress party.