Jammu: Omar Abdullah was on Monday sworn in as chief minister of a National Conference-Congress coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir, making him the youngest leader to occupy the post in a generational shift in state politics.
Wearing a smart black sherwani, the 38-year-old Omar was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor NN Vohra in a simple ceremony at General Zoravar Singh Stadium here.
Nine others including senior Congress leader Tara Chand Sharma, who has become deputy chief minister, also took oath at the ceremony attended by a number of dignitaries including Congress president Sonia Gandhi. The newly constituted council of ministers includes five ministers each from NC and Congress.
Omar, whose party contested the elections alone and got 28 seats, crafted the new tie-up with Congress which won 17 seats, after discussions with Gandhi. Congress has agreed that there will be no rotation of chiefministership and he will hold the post for the full term.
As Omar approached the flower-decked dais to take oath in English, the gathering, which included wife Payal, their two kids Zahir and Zamir and father former chief minister Farooq Abdullah, broke into a loud applause.
Soon after taking oath, Omar said he will try to “heal wounds” of the two-month-long Jammu agitation and two decades of militancy in Kashmir.
Others inducted in the ministry were three-time MLA and former JKPCC chief Peerzadas Mohmmad Sayeed, Taj Mohideen, Nawang Rigzin Jora, Shyam Lal Sharma all Congress, along with NC’s Ali Mohammad Sagar, Mian Altaf, Surjeet Salathia.
Tight security arrangements were made for the ceremony.