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Ghulam Mohammad Shah or G.M. Shah (20 July 1920 – 6 January 2009) was an Indian politician who was Chief Minister of the state of Jammu and Kashmir[1] from 2 July 1984 to 6 March 1986. He succeeded his brother-in-law Farooq Abdullah. Shah's father-in-law was Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, the founder of the Jammu and Kashmir National Conference, of which Shah was once a senior member. Shah died 6 January 2009 at the Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences in Srinagar. He was 88.[2]


Early lifeEdit

Mr. Ghulam Mohammad Shah also known as "Gulshah" to his friends, associates, workers, followers, critics and opponents, was born in Srinagar (Kashmir) on 20 July 1920. Under the inspiring guidance of his alter-ego, his elder brother (Kh Ali Shah), he took keen interest in his studies and completed his education with flying colours. He was one of the very few young men of Kashmir who did his bachelor's degree from Punjab University. Later, he also took a degree in Law from Aligarh Muslim University. He also got Fellowship from London School of Economics in the field of Agriculture Economics under United Nations Fellowship Programme. He was a devout Muslim having a profound respect and vast knowledge of all other religions. In 1933, at the age of 13 years, he was encouraged by his brother-Kh. Ali Shah-to take to public life. His elder brother held positions of high responsibility as Director, Food Control Dept. then as Governor of Kashmir Province in the Govt. of Maharaja Hari Singh and later on as a Minister in the Cabinet of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah. At the residence of Kh. Ali Shah many political stalwarts of Kashmir like: Said-ud-Din Shawl, Ahmed-ud-Allah Ashai, Maulvi Hamdani, Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, Maulvi Abdul Rehman, Mufti Jalaludin, G.N. Gilkar and Bakshi Gh. Mohammad regularly assembled and deliberated on the burning issues of Kashmir. This had an inspiring influence on him. Being in the midst of the highly revered political elite of Kashmir, G.M.Shah was destined to be baptised into public life. Shah joined National Conference in 1944. Right at the inception of his political career, he was detained several times in his struggle for people’s rights. Shah was also the eldest son-in-law of former Chief Minister of the State, Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, brother-in-law of Dr Farooq Abdullah and uncle of the former Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah.[3]


After the formation of popular Government in 1947, Shah was appointed as Controller of Supplies and Prices, a post he held till 1953. After an extended incarceration of nearly eight years and following the 1975 Indira-Abdullah Accord, Shah was inducted as a Minister of State in the Government. Shah is also known for masterminding the NC campaign in 1977 elections, which the party won. He was later sworn-in as a cabinet minister and held portfolios of Transport, Food & Supplies, Trade Agencies, Estate Works and Power.

Shah became CM by toppling the government of his brother-in-law Farooq Abdullah in 1984. He defected from NC along with 12 party MLAs on 2 July 1984 bringing down the government of Farooq Abdullah, a move that created a bitter rift between the two families. Shah joined hands with 26-member Congress legislature party and became CM. However, his government was dismissed on 12 March 1986, by the then Governor Jagmohan following communal riots in south Kashmir.

Shah had formed a new party, Awami National Conference which also participated in the J&K Assembly Elections 2008.

He is survived by his wife, Khalida, two sons and a daughter.[4]


  1. ^ Austin, Granville (1999). Working a Democratic Constitution - A History of the Indian Experience. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. p. 546. ISBN 019565610-5.
  2. ^ Former CM and ANC patron passes away
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