Splitsville for Omar & Payal Abdullah!
J&K CM Omar Abdullah announces separation from his wife of 17 years.
They were Jammu and Kashmir's first couple. But not anymore! Ending months of speculation, state chief minister Omar Abdullah announced his separation from Payal Nath, his wife of 17 years. The news about their separation came in the same month they had got married, way back in 1994.
Omar, however, was quick to squash rumours of his second marriage, describing them as concocted.
"While it is true my wife and I have separated, the speculation about motives and about my future course of action are unfounded, untrue and deeply hurtful to all concerned. The stories about my remarriage are completely false and concocted. It is a pity that while repeating these lies, no effort was made to ask me whether any of this is true. In the process a lot of people have been hurt," Omar said in a statement.
Omar met Payal while they were both working at The Oberoi, Delhi. Omar was then a young marketing executive in the same hotel chain. They got married on September 1, 1994 and have two sons - Zahir and Zamir.
During all these years, Payal rarely spoke to the media, as Omar likes to keep his political and family life separate. But Payal is anything but a politician's 'invisible' wife.
Payal hails from Delhi and her family has roots in Lahore, Pakistan. Her father, Major General Ram Nath, was in the army. She owns a spring water bottling facility in Himachal's Kullu district and also operates a travel business from Delhi. Rarely was Omar seen without his wife at social events. Thus, it came as a surprise when the duo headed for spitsville.
There's a rumour that Omar's closeness to a television anchor drove a wedge in his relationship with Payal.
Reports also suggest that his party (National Conference) leadership is more interested that Omar marry the niece of his friend Nasir Aslam Wani, who is also Jammu and Kashmir's minister of tourism.
Interestingly, news of Omar's separation was doing the rounds in Srinagar for several months. In his statement, the chief minister appealed to the media to exercise restraint.
"The media in India has a well established, undeclared, code of conduct that keeps the private lives of public figures by and large private. I believe my family and I are entitled to that privacy. At this point my concern has to, and will remain my young sons, who do not deserve to see themselves splashed across the news channels and pages of newspapers in this manner," Omar said.
"I am sure you will all appreciate that while my private life has gone through a period of unprecedented upheaval, I have not allowed it to affect my work in any way. It is with this in mind that I make a humble appeal to the media to please allow my family and me the space and privacy to deal with what we are going through," he added.
He also made it clear that neither he nor his family would be issuing any more statements or taking any further questions about his personal life and hoped the media would respect this decision.
Earlier, Omar announced separation from his wife through a tweet. "Have seen with dismay and anguish the growing tide of speculation in the media about my private life and the status of my marriage... While it's true my wife and I have separated, speculation about the motives and my future actions are unfounded, untrue." In a subsequent tweet Omar said: " Stories about my remarriage are completely false, concocted. It's a pity, while repeating these lies, no effort was made to ask me the truth."
Payal Nath hails from Delhi and her family has roots in Lahore.
She was working with The Oberoi in New Delhi. It was here that she met a young Omar Abdullah, who was then a marketing executive in the same hotel chain.
Payal and Omar married on September 1, 1994.
They have two sons, Zahir and Zamir.
Payal owns a mineral water company called Jairu Naturelle. The factory is located 3 km off Kullu, on the Kullu-Manali highway.
She also operates a travel business.
On Thursday, Omar tweeted that he had separated from Payal, his wife of 17 years.
Have seen with dismay and anguish the growing tide of speculation in the media about my private life and the status of my marriage… While it's true my wife and i have separated... stories abt my remarriage are completely false, concocted... I appeal to the media to please allow me and my family privacy.