Sacking of JK Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu signals hard posturing by PDP

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"I was not accorded the opportunity to explain the context and the content of my speech".

Syed Bashir Ahmad, two-time PDP MLA from Pulwama's Rajpora constituency presently represented in the Assembly by ousted Finance Minister Haseeb A Drabu, has said that if Haseeb Drabu has spoken against the party's core political agenda then why the party has not taken against him as a party leader and sitting MLA.

However, PDP leader said that he was not given any chance to explain his side of the story and added that he bore ill will against no one.

The former minister also said there was a need for civil society institutions to get involved and make interventions in their areas of influence "to resolve the social issues pervading our society".

However, politics in Jammu and Kashmir is nothing if not full of surprises - after all, didn't the "nationalist" BJP join hands with the "pro-separatist" (an oft-mentioned charge) PDP for the sake of power in J&K? He had stated that "Kashmir is not a political issue". "She may have shunted Drabu out from the ministry much earlier had she been sure the BJP wouldn't object or make life hard for her", said a senior J&K bureaucrat.

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"Nor does it dent its image".

This prompted the PDP leadership to come out with a statement that the party recognizes Kashmir as a political issue and has been trying to resolve it through dialogue.

The People's Democratic Party removed the state finance minister Haseeb Drabu from his post.

The former journalist said he wanted "to put the record straight", making it clear he wouldn't be the fall guy for the deeply unpopular PDP-BJP alliance in the state. He said the "unflinching confidence" that Mufti (Mohammad Sayeed) always reposed in him and the relationship of trust that "we shared, is my source of strength" to endure this situation.

After the controversy broke out, Drabu said he tried to reach Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti over the issue but failed to get an audience. "Every single meeting, discussion and negotiations were done with the knowledge and consent of the patron and the president". Although it's an internal matter of the PDP but his statement of Kashmir not being a political issue was condemned by everyone cutting across the party lines in Kashmir, he said.