Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Here's why J&K Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu was sacked by Mehbooba Mufti

Here's why J&K Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu was sacked by Mehbooba Mufti

Since yesterday, pressure was mounting on Drabu, who played a key role in stitching an alliance with the BJP during Mufti Mohammed Sayeeds tenure earlier and again when Mehbooba Mufti became the chief minister, after newspapers published his remarks that people were "barking up the wrong tree" as the Kashmir issue was not a political issue.

The chief minister, who returned from the national capital to Jammu, shot off a letter to the state Governor N N Vohra requesting him to drop Drabu from her council of ministers with immediate effect, PDP sources said.

Drabu was speaking at an event titled "Kashmir: The Way Forward" in New Delhi on March 9.

Pertinently, Drabu addressing diplomats and investors at the function hosted by the PHD Chamber of Commerce in New Delhi had termed Kashmir issue "apolitical" which incensed his party PDP and also left it facing attacks from both mainstream parties and Hurriat camp as well. Our society has been ravaged and we need to address that first.

PDP vice-president Sartaj Madni is quoted in the report saying that J&K is a political issue that the party has been pursuing through dialogue and reconciliation at every level, ever since it emerged.

Interestingly, Drabu was the PDP's pointsman who worked out the draft of the agenda of alliance with the BJP that brought the two ideologically different parties to power after the 2014 elections produced a hung Assembly.

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"Simply sacking the architect of the BJP-PDP alliance and co-author of the agenda of alliance will not redeem the PDP for the sins of the last three years", Abdullah tweeted. A favourite of the late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Drabu was made the finance minister after he impressed the former CM when he was economic adviser to the PDP government between January 2003 and 2008.

Drabu formally joined the PDP in 2014 and successfully contested the state elections on the party ticket from his home constituency Rajpora.

He was the chairman and CEO of the Jammu & Kashmir Bank from 2005 to 2010.

However, the 53-year-old economist's political career kickstarted after the 2002 J&K Assembly elections when the PDP-Congress coalition came to power and he was made the chief economic adviser.

Drabu began his career as an economist in 1990 when he was appointed with the Perspective Planning Division of the Planning Commission. He also served as a consultant to the Asian Development Bank.

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