Srinagar: Former Finance Minister and Senior PDP leader Haseeb Drabu said that after serving the state as a Minister for three years, he will now serve the constituency which elected him.
While addressing his party workers in Rajpora, Drabu asked them not to read anything more in the recent decision of his sacking beyond what is obvious.
“I was a Minister for three years, working for the state and now for the next three years I will work for the constituency which elected me enabling me to hold responsible positions in the state government,” he said and added that he will continue to work for the party in whatever capacity or whatever role is assigned to him by the PDP President and chief minister Mehbooba Mufti.
While praising former Chief Minister Mufti Sayeed he said that it was ‘him who handpicked me and introduced me to politics.’
“I am indebted to Mufti Sahab who handpicked me and got me into the politics and later in the governance with the sole aim to raise the bar in improving the governance setup and service delivery. Within six months of joining politics, I was appointed Finance Minister. This is unprecedented,” Drabu asserted.
“I worked to the best of my capacity and capability and helped deliver the commitments made by the party to the people. I will continue to do so in future as well,” he added.
Drabu, who penned down the Agenda for Alliance with BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav, said the PDP founder Mufti Sayeed had a commitment with the people that he will bring about change in their lives. For this, he said, Mufti took the most difficult route of allying with BJP.
“The idea was to avail an opportunity, take the national and the regional public mandate seriously and address the political economic, developmental and administrative challenges confronting Jammu and Kashmir in the larger interest of the peace and stability in the state and the region,” Drabu said and added that he will continue to strengthen and expand this basic agenda and political philosophy of the party.
He said that commitment of getting Jammu and Kashmir out of the political morass continues to be the main focus of the party and the Government under the leadership of Mehbooba Mufti.
Hasseb Drabu was unceremoniously sacked from the post of the Finance Minister after his comment that ‘Kashmir is not a political problem but a social issue’.
The statement created a political storm in the valley and lead to his removal.
Minister of Education Altaf Bukhari was given the additional charge of the Finances. Bukhari, after taking charge rolled back the Pay and Accounts Office (PAO) system, saying that it was ‘inconvenient’.
The Opposition, while attacking the PDP said that ‘it seemed the real reason for Drabu’s sacking was not due to his controversial comments but the PAO system.
“We strongly opposed Dr. Drabu’s unacceptable and factually incorrect remarks and we continue to oppose them. We believe Dr. Drabu inadvertently spilled the beans and publicly exposed the actual mindset of the PDP – a party which sacrificed the last remnants of its ideological pretence to ally with the BJP. However, the sudden and arbitrary rollback of the Pay and Accounts Office (PAO) Reform brought in by the J&K Government just last month through the Assembly raises a huge red flag. It seems the PAO system was a reason for Dr. Drabu’s removal and the Chief Minister needs to be held to account – how can a reform that your Government pushed through the Legislature just a month or so ago suddenly become untouchable and unacceptable?”, the NC leaders said in the statement.
Even voices came from within the Party that sacking Drabu is not enough and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti will have to do much more in order to restore the credibility of the party at the grass roots.
“Haseeb Drabu has spoken against the party agenda and deserved the action Chief Minister has taken against him but she will have to take more such steps to revive the party at the grass roots”, senior PDP leader and former minister Peer Mohammad Hussain had said.
However, PDP’s alliance partner the BJP while endorsing Drabu’s comments said that development is PDP’s internal matter and the alliance will not be affected.