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Omar Abdullah leads by example

By Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
January 03, 2009 21:54 IST
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Jammu and Kashmir chief minister-designate Omar Abdullah on Saturday said that he would continue to live in his present Gupkar road residence in the high security Sonawar area.


"I will continue to live in my present three-bed room house which is enough for my family," Omar told newsmen here after his arrival from New Delhi.


Omar's decision to stay in his present lodging is seen here as an indication by the chief minister-designate not to occupy the palatial official chief minister's residence which was constructed by former chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad last year.


During the last days of his tenure Azad had shifted into the former palace of the Maharaja after its renovation which cost the state exchequer crores of rupees.


The mansion overlooking the famous Dal Lake is laid on several acres of terraced sprawling lawns with the Zabarwan mountain range in its back drop.


During his tenure as chief minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had renovated a former state guest house on the Maulana Azad Road where he shifted as chief minister in 2003.


The house which was renovated is lying vacant now though nearly four crores were spent on its renovation during Mufti's tenure. 

Answering questions about his decision not to induct any tainted minister into his cabinet, Omar said, "I have made my priorities clear to the Congress high command during my deliberations with them. It is for the Congress partners to decide who among their party would join my ministerial team."

See the Rediff interview with Omar Abdullah


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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar