New Delhi: Sources have confirmed that Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and his wife of 17 years, Payal Nath have filed for a divorce.
The couple, who have been a prominent face on the Delhi social circle, have been having troubles in their marriage. While Omar lives in Srinagar due to official obligations, Payal has been living in Delhi with their two sons Zahir and Zamir.
A leading daily reports about how Omar has been avoiding Payal’s Akbar Road residence during his visits to the capital. He has been putting up at his father Farooq Abdullah’s residence in Safdarjung.
Friends of the couple have stated that the decision to separate has been a mutual one. Even though no one has divulged the actual reasons for separation, news of Omar’s remarriage have been doing the rounds lately.
The daily cites that there are two names that have been linked to the 41-year-old Chief Minister. One is a friend of Omar and is supposed to be a well known media person, the other is someone his dad and party member have chosen for him. She happens to be the sister of politician Nasir Aslam Wani. Wani is also a close confidant of Omar’s and is currently J&K’s minister of state for Home.
Speaking to the daily a source said, “Omar definitely knows her well¬-the name that’s floating online as the one he is looking to marry-but I don’t think the part about her being responsible for the break-up, or of Omar looking to marry her is correct. On the other hand, in J&K, talk of a marriage between a girl from the Wani family and Omar has been there for a while.”
Many feel that the divorce may not do any major damage to Omar’s image in J&K as from the beginning the marriage was frowned upon by the conservatives. Payal being a Hindu was never really welcomed into the state. But many also feel that a remarriage may get tongues wagging in the state and also go against his political image.
Meanwhile, Omar Abdullah reacted to the news of his divorce and took to micro blogging site Twitter to clear the allegations. The Chief Minister of J&K tweeted, " Have seen with dismay and anguish the growing tide of speculation in the media about my private life and the status of my marriage(sic)."
He further added, " While it's true my wife and i have separated, speculation about the motives and my future actions are unfounded, untrue(sic)."
Omar denied the news about his plans of re marrying and tweeted, "stories abt my remarriage are completely false, concocted. It's a pity, while repeating these lies, no effort was made to ask me the truth(sic)."