Omar Abdullah will take oath as chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir at the head of a National Conference-Congress coalition Government amid indications it will be a six-member ministry and without a deputy chief minister from the Congress.
Omar(38) will become the state’s youngest chief minister and the eleventh after he was unanimously elected as the leader of the NC Legislature party at its meeting. Omar’s name was proposed by his father and former chief minister Farooq Abdullah and seconded unanimously by the remaining 25 legislators.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi will attend Omar’s swearing-in ceremony to be held at General Zorawar Singh stadium in Jammu university. Abdullah’s proposed six-member ministry is expected to have three members each from the two coalition partners who have joined hands to stitch an alliance after a gap of two decades.
“I am confident to deliver in the state and come up to the expectation of the people of the state”,said Omar who got a rapturous welcome on reaching the border state’s winter capital.
On the eve of the new government assuming office,PDP pulled out of the ruling Congress-led UPA coalition with the party president Mehmooba Mufti writing a letter to UPA chairpeson and Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
Besides Abdullah,his party colleagues– A R Rather and Surjeet Salathia– are also expected to take oath. Tara Chand (Jammu region),Taj Mohideen (Kashmir valley) and Nawang Rigzin Jora (Ladakh) are Congress’ front-runners for a berth in the ministry.
Congress sources said a deputy chief minister who will be from the party is unlikely to be inducted tomorrow. The induction is likely to be done after Lok Sabha elections.