Jubilation in Kashmir as Abdullah joins union cabinet

May 28th, 2009 - 7:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Srinagar, May 28 (IANS) As white Nehru jacket clad Farooq Abdullah of the National Conference took oath as a member of Prime Manmohan Singh’s cabinet in Delhi, back home in Kashmir it was a time to celebrate for the party’s supporters.
Hundreds of National Conference supporters waving the party’s flags - red background with white plough - gathered at the party headquarters here amid loud burst of fire crackers.

Sweets were distributed as National Conference workers hugged, greeting each other saying “mubarak, mubarak” (congratulations, congratulations).

Abdullah, the National Conference president, was sworn in during the second instalment of the Congress-led government formation after he missed out in the first oath taking ceremony May 22.

“The induction of the National Conference president into the union cabinet will provide Jammu and Kashmir a strong advocate for its developmental share. Besides, it will also strengthen the relations between the Congress and the National Conference,” said a jubilant party worker.

For the Abdullahs, the first political family of Jammu and Kashmir, it was all in the family in Delhi Thursday. Alongside the National Conference president, his son-in-law Sachin Pilot of the Congress also took oath as a minister of state.

The flamboyant Abdullah, 72, with a traditional Kashmiri karakul cap and dressed in a white Nehru jacket with a red rose pinned in his lapel and a bright pink handkerchief peeping out from the breast pocket was sworn in first.

An hour later, his 32-year-old son-in-law Sachin Pilot, married to Abdullah’s daughter Sara, followed suit and took oath as a minister of state.

Looking on was a proud Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah who watched the one-and-a-half hour ceremony with rapt attention.

Just before the swearing-in ceremony started, the three were seen hugging and patting each other in a show of family pride.

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