Saleem Akhter Malik (Reshi)
When Omar Abdullah was the Chief Minister all seemed to be going wrong for him especially in first few years. In 2009 he could not handle in an apt manner the Shopian Tragedy; in 2010 he became highly infamous as Chief Minister after massacre of more than 125 young boys in protests in different parts of Kashmir valley. Only in last year of his Chief Minister Ship especially after parliament election debacle or NC in Kashmir Omar seemed to be taking right decisions like one that of scrapping the unfriendly job policy and taking other remedial measures to improve the image of himself and his party.
On overall realms, Omar’s 6 year tenure as Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir was dominated more by negative headlines rather than positive happenings. By his own assertions Omar never seemed to be feeling hundred percent confident of his achievements. Difficulties were aggravated by the system of coalition governance In short the throne of CM Post proved to be throne of thorns .After all debacles came the 2014 Assembly elections and Omar lead a strong election campaign and saved National Conference from complete drubbing. Although, the final tally of 15 was still a setback for NC and Omar and supporters of NC too were sad after verdict.
But as fractured verdict gave nobody breathing space it seems after verdict one has seen real politician figure of Omar Abdullah emerging. From first day itself after election verdict he has been vocal in saying no to BJP while many would have expected to write love letters to BJP and be diplomatic but he has taken political high-ground by calling spade a spade and criticizing BJP most. Omar’s offer of support to PDP came as a shocker for political watchers but on that commitment Omar has remained firm and is now all set to write a letter to Governor in this regard offering unconditional support to PDP. All this firmness from Omar has given NC a edge in public circles and PDP is on backfoot now.
Pertinently, this time around after election verdict one is not seeing Ifs and Buts in Omar’s political style but clear cut methodology .Even his critics are surprised over the resurgence of new Omar who is more decisive, more clear and more innovative in thinking and is eager to connect to ground pulse thus improving his public image as well which had taken a beating post 2010 agitation.
One wonders had Omar been such clear, firm, innovative in his tenure as Chief Minister things would have been altogether different. As they say everywhere “Better late than never” and same applies to personality of Omar Abdullah. Despite turbulent times post election one is seeing Omar Abdullah striking all the right chords. Will all this bring a new Omar Abdullah into limelight remains to be seen.