Thousands hail Indian Kashmir's new leader
A young, pro-India Muslim politician, set to become the new chief minister of Indian Kashmir, was hailed by thousands of supporters on his arrival here yesterday from national capital New Delhi.
Omar Abdullah, the 38-year-old leader of the National Conference, was backed by India's ruling Congress party for the top job, after staggered state polls in the troubled Muslim-majority region produced a fractured verdict.
Supporters travelling in cars, buses, trucks and on motorcycles followed Abdullah's bullet-proof automobile as it left the fortified airport in Srinagar, the summer capital of the insurgency-hit region.
Carrying party flags, the supporters danced and shouted pro-Abdullah slogans, witnesses said.
Abdullah later addressed them inside a cricket stadium.
"I will work to end your problems, be it power, roads or jobs," said Abdullah.
The National Conference won 28 of the state assembly's 87 seats, while the Congress party bagged 17.