I Had Resigned Eight Months Before Being Sacked: Drabu To Mehbooba’s ‘Paratroopers’

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SRINAGAR: A week later after declining his nomination to the Political Affairs Committee (PAC) of PDP, Kashmir’s former finance minister Dr Haseeb Drabu on Friday dropped the bombshell that much before he was sacked from the council of ministers, he had “resigned from the cabinet, legislative assembly and the membership of PDP”.

His surprise came on micro-blogging site Twitter, where he said: “repulsive how paratroopers with proximity to Mehbooba Mufti in power are now trashing her.”

Castigating “paratroopers” of not standing up at an appropriate time, Drabu said, “with benefit of hindsight all are wise to say they should have resigned. Point is they didn’t. I did. From the cabinet, assembly and party 8 months before being dropped. But that’s another story.” Drabu though did not reveal who the ‘paratroopers’ are.

However, he didn’t reveal the “another story” as to why he had done so and why it wasn’t accepted.

File image of Dr Haseeb A Drabu with PDP patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)

A lawmaker from Rajpora, Drabu’s tweet was apparently referring to several PDP leaders who have been critical of Mehbooba since the fall of the BJPDP alliance in the state.

Keeping himself away from the party politics, Drabu since the day he was sacked, March 12, 2018, had not participated in any party meeting and did not comment on any issue. He, however, came out with the clarification that his appropriate descriptor could be “disinterested” and not “disgruntled MLA.”

He, however, wrote on social site “at last the reason for my sacking has been made public! J&K improved its ranking from 11 (2016) to 7 (2018) among all the states in fiscal management. It was 24 in 2015 when I became FM.”

Communicating mostly on twitter, Drabu had written twice to PDP president Mehbooba Mufti; one, after he was sacked and two, when he was brought back into the core group of the party. Both the times he expressed shock of knowing things through media.

A day after he was sacked for his “remarks”, Drabu issued a detailed letter expressing his “shock and surprise that he has no formal or even personal communication either from the government or from the party about his being dropped from the Cabinet.”

In his communication to media, Drabu rejected the claims of going against the PDP’s ideology. “As for my understanding of the political ideology of PDP, it is based on my drafting of various election manifestoes, the aspirational agenda, and the all-important Self Rule document, which Mufti Sahib involved me in.”

Initially not considered for any party post, Drabu was left behind when Mehbooba on August 26, 2018, revamped the organisational structure of the party. The “coterie” accused by the rebel group of running the party were sidelined.

Days later, PDP spokesman issued another statement on September 7 that Drabu along with Syed Altaf Bukhari has been nominated for the PAC, the highest decision-making body of the party. Bukhari, however, was earlier designated as treasurer of the party.

Kashmir Life illustration

Drabu reacted to his appointment. He thanked Mehbooba for his nomination but shown his “inability” to be part of the policy-making body of the party.

Acknowledging the past glory of PAC, Drabu said “I know the value and significance of being a PAC member. More so at a time when the state is going through a phase of exceptional political chaos and social crisis. The party is also confronted with serious challenges both from within and outside” but added that in present scenario it has lost its “importance”.

The PAC has in the recent past, not only lacked authority but was consciously made to be seen as lacking authority. In this context, the ongoing party reorganisation and reconstitution of the PAC appears to be a more of an appeasement than atonement.”

With Friday’s surprise, Drabu has already conveyed to party president that “needless to say that I will continue to work, as I have in the past, for a peaceful, progressive and prosperous J&K.”

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