Srinagar, Mar 13: Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti acting tough against the senior Peoples Democratic Party leader Haseeb Drabu and sacking him from the cabinet over terming Kashmir as a “social issue” is a clear message to PDP’s coalition ally Bharatiya Janata Party that PDP won’t compromise on its ideology.
Sources told Precious Kashmir that Drabu was sacked for his refusal to retract the statement he made on Kashmir during a conference orgainsed by PHD Chamber of Commerce in Delhi. “Drabu instead of complying with the party directive to retract his statement on Kashmir was very harsh in his reply to the show cause notice issued to him by Abdul Rehman Veeri the head of party’s disciplinary committee.”
Sources said the PDP President Mehbooba Mufti took strong note of Drabu’s “arrogant reply” to the show cause notice. “No one is above the party and the agenda that late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had set for addressing the core political sentiments of the people of Jammu & Kashmir,” sources quoted Mehbooba as having said.
“Drabu’s sacking is a message to all party cadres on the core political agenda over Kashmir resolution. Those who try to defy the party will have to face action than the Drabu faced,” a senior PDP leader said.
An insider revealed that Drabu’s close proximity with the top brass of RSS also led to his ouster from the state cabinet. “Many people within the PDP were unhappy with Drabu and used to believe that he is a backdoor entry into the party with no political standing,” he added.
He said, “No one in the PDP came for Drabu’s rescue. Only his friend Social Welfare Minister and chief of the Peoples Conference Sajad Lone defended Drabu by stating that he was quoted out of context and he has been the victim of the brutal reportage.”
The Bharatiya Janata Party termed Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s decision to sack Drabu a “setback” to PDP-BJP alliance and said it would widen the gap between the two allies. “It is a setback to the alliance. He played an important role in the formulation of the GST,” the BJP leader said, adding that “Drabu acted as a bridge between PDP and BJP. He played a pivotal role in setting the contours of its alliance with the BJP in 2015.”
Another senior BJP leader backed Drabu and said there is nothing wrong in what he said, “Drabu has understood the contours of Kashmir problem. He should not have been sacked.”
It is in place to mention here that Drabu while speaking at an event in New Delhi on Friday, had said, “It (J&K) 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 had said.