Drabu barks up the wrong tree, loses ministry

Published at March 13, 2018 10:12 AM 0Comment(s)9150views

BJP supports AoA architect’s sacking
Omar says it won’t wash away PDP’s 3-year sins


Drabu barks up the wrong tree, loses ministry

Faisul Yaseen


Srinagar, March 12: Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu was Monday stripped of his portfolio after he failed to retract his statement that J&K was not a political issue.
Soon after returning from New Delhi to Jammu, the summer capital of the State, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti sent a letter to Governor Narinder Nath Vohra requesting him to drop Drabu from her Council of Ministers (CoM) with immediate effect.
Drabu had framed the Agenda of Alliance (AoA), the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the rightwing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), when PDP and BJP came together to form the government led by PDP founder Mufti Muhammad Sayeed in March 2015.
He re-stitched the alliance with BJP when Sayeed died and there was a deadlock for nearly three months, which ended with Sayeed’s daughter, Mehbooba Mufti taking over as the first woman chief minister of the State.
Drabu got into trouble for his speech at the ‘Ambassador’s Meet’ organised by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Kashmir Chapter, at New Delhi on Friday.
He had said: “It (J&K) is not a political issue as far as I can see. They (Kashmiri politicians) have been barking up the wrong tree for the last 50 or 70 years by talking about the politics of it, that the political situation has never improved.”
Sources said at least two ministers and two senior PDP leaders lobbied hard for getting Drabu removed by persuading the Chief Minister that if no action was taken against him, it would be a death knell for the party, particularly in Kashmir.
After the removal of Drabu from CoM, the State cabinet meeting scheduled for Tuesday was deferred by a week.
The Chief Minister did not name anyone as the new finance minister and kept the portfolio with herself for the time being.
Minister for Education, Altaf Bukhari and Minister for Public Works, Naeem Akhtar are the frontrunners for taking over the portfolio of finance ministry.
Talking to Rising Kashmir, PDP chief spokesman, Rafi Ahmad Mir said the party had sent a show-cause notice to Drabu to explain his position and asked him to retract his statement.
Mir said Drabu responded to the notice saying that he had been misquoted, which was inquired by the party and found to be unsatisfactory.
He said reports of internal bickering in the party being the real reason for dropping Drabu was just a “guess work”.
BJP chief spokesman, Sunil Sethi said Drabu’s statement was against PDP’s stand and no individual was indispensable for a party.
Opposition National Conference (NC) Working President, Omar Abdullah reacted to the development with hism tweet, “Simply sacking the architect of the BJP-PDP alliance & co-author of the agenda of alliance will not redeem the PDP for the sins of the last 3 years (sic).”
He also said it was interesting to see who gets the finance portfolio.
"His PHDCCI speech cost him dearly. Will be interesting to see who replaces him in the Finance Ministry," Omar said in another tweet.
faisul@risingkashmir.com

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