The Abdullahs, three generations of whose family ruled the state for almost three decades, amassed huge wealth for every member of the family. The family cheated the people of the valley since the days of Sheikh Abdullah who was a school teacher for a few years which he left to pursue a full-time career in politics. The two other members of the family who seated themselves on the chair of Chief Minister are also career politicians with no other known source of income.
In November 2018, Peoples Conference (PC) leader Imran Raza Ansari questioned the source of Abdullah family’s wealth and accused them of ‘looting public money’. “Who was Sheikh Abdullah? A teacher from Soura. What did Omar Abdullah inherit from his grandfather?” said Ansari at a press conference.
“Today Abdullah family owns a house in London, a house in south France, a house in New Delhi, and a house in Gurgaon besides the houses at Gupkar road. Omar and Farooq Abdullah have two to three luxuries cars worth crores of rupees and wear clothes worth lakhs. In Delhi they are referred to as ‘Sheikhs of Kashmir’ and they own property worth thousands of crores. Where did all that money come from? It is the proverbial rags to riches story,” he added.
The Abdullahs led a luxurious life without any known source of income. The two living former chief ministers of the family are worth thousands of crores. Farooq Abdullah, three-time CM of Jammu & Kashmir has amassed a wealth of 23 crore rupees as per affidavit sent by him to Election Commission of India in 2017. He is a medical graduate from Swami Man Singh Medical College Jaipur Rajasthan but a full-time politician with no other known source of income.
The wealth of Farooq Abdullah registered exponential growth over the years. As per 2009 Lok Sabha election affidavit, his declared asset was 9.7 crore rupees which rose to 13.1 crore rupees in 2014. Therefore Mr. Abdullah made more than 3 crore rupees in five years when his son was CM of the state. However, the rise in wealth of Abdullah sharpened further from 2014 to 2017. In these three years, his wealth rose more than 10 crore rupees to 23 crore rupees, as per his election affidavit of 2017.
As per a report published in The Hindu Business Line in July this year, Enforcement Directorate questioned Farooq Abdullah over money laundering case after taking cognizance of a case registered by CBI. “He was questioned for siphoning off money from 43 crore rupees BCCI grant to Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA). The charge sheet was filed in July last year against Abdullah and three others for allegedly misappropriating over Rs 43 crore from grants given by the Board of Control for Cricket in India to the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) for promoting the sport in the state between 2002-11,” reads the article by Business Line.
Omar Abdullah, the third Chief Minister of the state from the family has a net worth of 65 lakh rupees as per election affidavit. However, the actual worth of junior Abdullah is estimated to be even higher. He was asked to pay interim maintenance of Rs 75,000 for Payal Abdullah (his divorcee) and Rs 25,000 for their son, till he turns 18 years old by a family court. A person who is being asked to pay 1 lakh rupees per month must have a total wealth of more than 65 lakh rupees. “The respondent (Omar Abdullah) has a substantial income and is enjoying a very opulent lifestyle. He continued to travel abroad and stay at expensive hotels and has memberships to elite clubs,” told senior advocate Jayant K Sud and advocate Honey Khanna to the court.
Apart from amassing huge private wealth, Abdullahs wasted public money for their luxurious lifestyle when they were in power. As per an article by Daily Mail, when Omar Abdullah became the chief minister of the state in January 2009, a new bungalow was constructed adjacent to his property at Gopkar on public money. “The stylish house – with two bedrooms, one dining hall, one kitchen, an underground recreational room, a small gym and sauna – was constructed at the cost of around Rs 3.40 crore,” wrote Daily Mail.
The Abdullahs have looted the people of Jammu & Kashmir for decades. They became millionaires and enjoy a luxurious lifestyle by looting the public fund meant for the welfare of the poor people of the state.