In a setback to the PDP, its senior leader and former finance minister Haseeb Drabu resigned from the party. He, however, has remained silent about his political future.
Drabu had stitched the alliance between the PDP and BJP in 2015 for the coalition government in the state. His resignation from the PDP was coming for a while – he had been removed as finance minister by Mehbooba Mufti, then chief minister, in March following his remarks at a conference in New Delhi that Kashmir “isn’t a political issue” but was a society with “social issues”. Later, in September, Mufti had nominated Drabu to PDP’s high profile Political Affairs Committee (PAC), which he had refused to be part of.
In a letter to party president Mehbooba Mufti, Drabu wrote, “This has been coming for a while now. Even though I have not been a dissident – you are aware I had resigned from the cabinet, Assembly and party nearly two years ago which you didn’t accept – I have disengaged myself from party affairs for quite some time now.”
He added, “I didn’t precipitate the matter because I believe it ethically and morally wrong to leave the party under whose aegis one has contested and won the seat in the Legislative assembly. Now that it is over, I am hereby resigning from the J&K PDP.”
Drabu’s resignation is a setback to the PDP, which has been battling dissent ever since the BJP walked out of the alliance government in Jammu and Kashmir. Former minister Imran Ansari has already joined the Sajad-Lone led Peoples Conference, and PDP founding member and parliamentarian Muzaffar Hussain Beig has publically said he will “seriously consider joining” Lone’s third front.
Drabu termed his four-and-a-half year association with the PDP “a slice of full life”.
“During this sojourn into politics, I successfully contested an election under the political and ideological banner of J&K PDP, became a member of the legislative assembly of J&K and was inducted into the cabinet. As such, in this brief period, I got a flavour of politics in all its fascinating melange…There are many things that I am thankful for, many more I am grateful for and yet much more that I am distressed about. A slice of full life in itself as it were!” his letter says.
Drabu also said he doesn’t approve the way the state assembly was dissolved by J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik after the PDP and National Conference joined hands and staked claim for the government formation together with Congress.