CM Mehbooba Mufti drops Drabu from ministry

Cheryl Sanders
March 12, 2018

A top BJP leader praised Mr Drabu's role in coordination between the two parties and said he was often the bridge between the Jammu and Kashmir government and the Centre over a host of issues. PDP vice-president Sartaj Madni had also asked him to retract the statement immediately. "Therefore you are advised to explain as to why statement detrimental to the party interests was made".

On Sunday, PDP, taking strong note of Drabu's remark, said the party recognises Jammu and Kashmir as a political issue ever since its emergence.

"It is unfortunate that the problem is seen by some forces in the subcontinent as a mere management assignment to contain people's aspirations and the resolution commitment is being aimlessly undermined", Madni said in a statement.

"He didn't mend his arrogant ways despite warnings".

PDP insiders say it was Drabu who had convinced Mufti Sayeed to join hands with the BJP while many leaders considered it "political suicide" to enter into an alliance with an ideologically opposite group like BJP. "He never presented himself as our man in BJP, but BJP's man in PDP", he added.

Finance Minister Drabu said, "Don't see J&K as a conflict state and a political issue".

Separatist Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front leader Yasin Malik said Drabu's statement was aimed at distorting history.

Ahead of being actively involved in state politics, Drabu emerged as a noted economist in J&K. After the protest against state Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti took stern action against him. "A single person has no right to abuse the very stance of a party, which came into being on principles of fairness and justice regarding the political issues and rights of the people of State", he said. A section of party leadership had grown tired of the former chairman of J&K bank, who at one point in time of his career openly advocated secession. Opposition party National Conference had also cornered Mehbooba asking her to clear the controversy over Drabu's remarks.

"The decision (to drop him) was taken by the chief minister on Monday".

"I am hugely relieved", a sitting MLA of the PDP told Firstpost.

He said the party is awaiting a response from the governor now. However, the party eventually chose to elevate Mehbooba as the CM. Sources said the party workers had complained that the former finance minister was ignoring even his own constituency.

The sources said the chief minister wrote a letter to Governor NN Vohra, advising him to drop Drabu from the council of ministers.

Other reports by iNewsToday