PDP drops J&K Finance Minister Haseeb Ahmed Drabu

Mehbooba Mufti-led Jammu and Kashmir govt sacks minister Haseeb Drabu

Mehbooba Mufti-led Jammu and Kashmir govt sacks minister Haseeb Drabu

A top BJP leader praised 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.

The ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) sent a letter to Raj Bhavan, informing Governor NN Vohra about Drabu's removal from the state cabinet.

Speaking on the occasion, NC Provincial President Nasir Aslam Wani hit out at the PDP for "fooling" the people of the State for nearly two decades by seeking their personal political empowerment by exploiting the political sentiment that they are now openly ridiculing. The event was organised by Kashmiri businessmen in which ambassadors from 110 countries were invited.

The PDP had yesterday asked Drabu to retract his statement as it was against the party's stand.

Drabu stoked a controversy by saying that Jammu and Kashmir should not be seen as a conflict state or a political problem, but as a society with social issues. "Therefore you are advised to explain as to why a statement detrimental to party interests was made", read a notice issued by chairman of PDP's disciplinary committee A.R. Veeri to Drabu.

In reaction to a statement, separatist leader Yasin Malik in a statement here said "Drabu as an ample specimen of a sold-out mentality and classic example of a person trying to act like a lawyer in politics who has no ideology, faith and ethics but is always ready to represent his clients' wishes and whims". However, the party eventually made a decision to elevate Mehbooba as the CM.

But the storm raised by Drabu's statement didn't subside. Many leaders of the PDP often complained to Mehbooba Mufti about the "arrogant" style and dealings of the now former finance minister, even with his own party workers.

On March 9, while addressing an event themed 'Kashmir: the way forward, he reportedly said, "It (J&K) is not a political issue as far as I can see". Lately, he was considered closer to the alliance partner BJP than the PDP.

"Post his Kashmir remarks, Ms Mufti in a major development has removed the state Finance Minister from her cabinet", party sources here told UNI. "Drabu was one of them", said a source.

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