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‘Omar getting divorced, wants to marry TV anchor’
NORA CHOPRA  11th Sep 2011

If the Delhi grapevine is to be believed, Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and his wife Payal are getting divorced by mutual consent. The reason behind the break-up is apparently a TV anchor from the state, who the 41-year-old CM wants to marry. The anchor is a divorcee and has been in two live-in relationships since her divorce. But the marriage is being opposed by his father Dr Farooq Abdullah and his party, the National Conference as the lady is not a Muslim. The NC wants Abdullah to marry a Kashmiri Muslim girl. Farooq Abdullah even has a bride ready for him — the sister-in-law of his son's Home Minister, Nasir Aslam Wani. But Omar Abdullah is not listening. Abdullah had married Payal, the daughter of Major General Ram Nath (Retired), a Sikh, in 1994, four years before he entered politics. He has not visited his Akbar Road residence in New Delhi, where Payal lives with their two sons, for the last six months. When asked by this columnist, a close Omar Abdullah aide said on the condition of anonymity, "All I can say is that they are separated." Mixed marriages are common in the Abdullah family. Farooq Abdullah had married a British lady, Omar Abdullah's sister Sarah is married to Sachin Pilot. But conservative Kashmiri politics has not allowed these women to make Srinagar their home.

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