Haseeb Drabu quits PDP

The Northlines - - FRONT PAGE - NL COR­RE­SPON­DENT JAMMU TAWI, DEC 06

For­mer Jammu and Kash­mir Fi­nance Min­is­ter Haseeb Drabu on Thurs­day an­nounced his res­ig­na­tion from the Peo­ples Demo­cratic Party, say­ing the de­ci­sion had been "com­ing for a while now". The econ­o­mist had joined the party in 2014 and won the Assem­bly elec­tion from Ra­j­pora con­stituency later that year.

In his res­ig­na­tion let­ter, Drabu said he had wanted to re­sign from the Cab­i­net "nearly two years ago" but then Chief Min­is­ter Me­hbooba Mufti had not ac­cepted it. He said he "did not pre­cip­i­tate the mat­ter" be­cause leav­ing the party un­der which he had won an Assem­bly seat was "eth­i­cally and morally wrong". He was re­sign­ing now that the Leg­isla­tive Assem­bly had been dis­solved, he wrote in his let­ter to Mufti. "I have dis­en­gaged my­self from party af­fairs for quite some time now," Drabu said.

In June, the state gov­ern­ment had col­lapsed af­ter the Bharatiya Janata Party with­drew sup­port to the Pdp-led gov­ern­ment. The state has been un­der Gov­er­nor's Rule since. Gov­er­nor Satya Pal Ma­lik dis­solved the Assem­bly last month.

Drabu praised for­mer Chief Min­is­ter Mufti Mo­hammed Say­eed, who died in 2016, and said he was the one who got him into pol­i­tics. "Work­ing with him made me re­alise that pol­i­tics is not the 'last refuge of scoundrels'," Drabu wrote. "I just hope that when his­tory judges Mufti sahib and his de­ci­sion to ally with the Bharatiya Janata Party, it does so in the con­text and with the com­plex­ity it de­serves."

Drabu ex­pressed his dis­agree­ment with Gov­er­nor Satya Pal Ma­lik's de­ci­sion to dis­solve the Assem­bly. "I do not agree with the tim­ing and man­ner in which it was done. It does not credit ei­ther the demo­cratic sys­tem or its cus­to­dian par­tic­i­pants with any glory what­so­ever."

Ma­lik's de­ci­sion to dis­solve the

Assem­bly on Novem­ber 21 came af­ter the Congress, Na­tional Con­fer­ence and Peo­ples Demo­cratic Party floated the pos­si­bil­ity of an al­liance, claim­ing that they had the sup­port of 56 leg­is­la­tors in the 87-mem­ber leg­is­la­ture. The gov­er­nor's de­ci­sion was crit­i­cised and sev­eral quar­ters ac­cused him of act­ing at the be­hest of the Bharatiya Janata Party gov­ern­ment at the Cen­tre. Ma­lik has de­nied the claims.

Three months be­fore the state gov­ern­ment's col­lapse, Me­hbooba Mufti had sacked Drabu from the Cab­i­net af­ter he trig­gered a con­tro­versy by claim­ing that the Kash­mir dis­pute is "not a po­lit­i­cal is­sue".

Drabu's res­ig­na­tion from the party fol­lows dis­si­dent PDP leader's Im­ran Reza An­sari's de­nounce­ment of Me­hbooba Mufti for pro­mot­ing nepo­tism in the out­fit and his de­ci­sion to quit in July.

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