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Jammu Kashmir

Posted at: Mar 13, 2018, 1:59 AM; last updated: Mar 13, 2018, 12:16 PM (IST)

J&K top minister Drabu sacked over remark

Architect of PDP-BJP alliance, Finance Minister said Kashmir wasn’t a political issue
J&K top minister Drabu sacked over remark
Haseeb Drabu

Majid Jahangir

Tribune News Service

Srinagar, March 12

Jammu and Kashmir CM Mehbooba Mufti today dropped Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu from her ministry for his controversial remark that Kashmir was not a political issue.

Credited with forging the PDP (Peoples Democratic Party) alliance with the BJP in 2015 after exhaustive parleys with BJP general secretary Ram Madhav that lasted two months, Drabu had raised a storm over his Kashmir remark at an event organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry in New Delhi on March 9.

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Under fire from the Opposition as well as separatists,  the PDP had yesterday issued a show-cause notice to Drabu, asking him to retract the remark. “Not satisfied with his response, the party decided to take action. Subsequently, the CM recommended to the Governor that he be dropped from the Cabinet. The Governor accepted the recommendation,” PDP chief spokesman Rafi Ahmed Mir told The Tribune.

The notice, issued by PDP disciplinary committee chief Abdul Rehman Veeri, read: “The statement attributed to you on the nature of problem of Jammu and Kashmir has been reported in newspapers for the last two days in which you are reported to have said that J&K is not a political problem but involves only social issues. As you are aware, this contradicts the very belief and core agenda of the party... Your statement has the potential of creating a serious dent in the image and credibility of the party. Therefore, you are advised to explain as to why the statement detrimental to party interests was made.” 

Drabu did not respond to phone calls for his response. A section of powerful PDP leaders had been reportedly gunning for Drabu. Believed to be close to the BJP leadership in Delhi, his next move could be crucial. It is not yet clear as to who will replace Drabu as Finance Minister. 

Setback to ties: BJP

New Delhi:  The BJP termed CM Mehbooba Mufti’s decision to sack Haseeb Drabu a “setback” to the PDP-BJP alliance and said it would widen the gap between the allies. A top BJP leader praised Drabu’s role in coordination between the two parties and said he was often the bridge between the J&K  Government and the Centre over a host of issues. PTI


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