My speech not against party position, says Haseeb Drabu


An economist-turned- Business Standard journalist-turned banker (he was chairman of J&K Bank for a long time in mid-2000s) who then turned politician, Drabu is adept at finding his way around the power-circles of Delhi; the powers that many say control the levers of power in J&K.

He is the first senior leader removed from the cabinet and the request by Mufti was accepted by the governor N.N. Vohra.

Mr Drabu, the co-author of Agenda of Alliance between the two parties, was dropped from the council of ministers yesterday following his remarks that Kashmir was not a political issue.

The spokesman quoted the Rasheed saying "Omer Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti need to understand and accept the fact that it is only because of the United Nations resolutions that people talk everywhere about the J&K dispute. I was not accorded the opportunity to explain the context and the content of my speech", he said in a statement.

"Even as I issue this statement, I have no formal or even personal communication either from the government or from the party about my being dropped from the cabinet", he said.

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". Drabu, he said, was often the bridge between the Jammu and Kashmir government and the Centre over a host of issues.

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Rasheed accused that NC and PDP of making an issue out of Drabu's statement without being honest to the political dispute itself.

He said that it is surprising that he has been ousted from the government and continues to be the member of the party against the core political agenda of which he has spoken.

"There were innuendoes that I said this or was made to say this with an ulterior motive", he said.

Post assembly elections in 2015 when BJP won sizeable seats in Jammu region while the PDP did well in Kashmir valley and other hilly region, Mr Drabu had "established" good working relations with BJP general secretary Ram Madhav. 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.

Meanwhile, National Conference president Farooq Abdullah termed the chief minister's decision to sack Mr Drabu "right".