Mehbooba drops Drabu

SRINAGAR, Mar 12: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today dropped finance minister Haseeb Drabu from the council of ministers over his remarks at a function in New Delhi that Kashmir was not a political issue, PDP sources said here.
The sources said the chief minister wrote a letter to Governor N N Vohra, advising him to drop Drabu from the council of ministers.
The development comes after Drabu, speaking at an event in New Delhi on Friday, had said: “It (JK) is not a political issue as far as I can see. They 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.
“We seriously need to look at in terms of how it is a society that is in search for itself,” he said at the event organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
“JK State Cabinet meeting which was scheduled to be held tomorrow at 12.30 pm has been postponed. It will be now be held on 20, March, 2018 at 11 am,” J&K’s Department of Information and Public Relations tweeted.
With Drabu out of the finance ministry, the race for the coveted portfolio began with the chief minister’s trusted aide and Works Minister Naeem Akhtar and Education Minister Altaf Bukhari being seen as front-runners.
Sources indicated that while Bukhari may land the job eventually, the chief minister might keep the finance portfolio with her for the time being.
The PDP had yesterday asked Drabu to retract his statement as it was against the party’s stand.
“The party takes serious note of the statement made reportedly by Haseeb A Drabu in a function at New Delhi regarding the nature of problems in J-K and has asked the minister to retract the statement immediately if it has been reported correctly in the media,” PDP vice-president Mohammad Sartaj Madni had said here.
“The party recognises Jammu and Kashmir as a political issue and ever since its emergence, the party has relentlessly been pursuing its resolution through reconciliation and dialogue – both at internal and external levels,” he added.
Governor N N Vohra has accepted CM Mehbooba Mufti’s request for dropping Haseeb Drabu from council of ministers, official sources said.