Jolt to PDP as Drabu quits

Jolt to PDP as Drabu quits

Ex-finance minister, who had joined party in 2014, says it was an ‘enriching association’

The former finance minister Haseeb Drabu resigned from the Peoples Democratic Party Thursday in a move which is seen as a major setback to Mehbooba Mufti who has been grappling with rebellion within the party ranks for months together.

“…the time has come for me to bid adieu!” Drabu wrote in his resignation letter addressed to Mehbooba, the PDP president. 

Drabu, who had joined the party in June 2014, was upset with the leadership ever since he was removed as the finance minister by the then chief minister Mehbooba Mufti in May this year over his controversial remark that Kashmir was not a political issue.

Since then, he has remained away from the party activities and in September this year even refused to be a member of the party’s highest decision-making body, Political Affairs Committee (PAC).

“It has been exactly four and a half years since I joined the J&K PDP. I may not have enjoyed every moment of it, but when I look back at it, it has been an enriching and enlightening association,” Drabu says in the letter.

In this brief period, Drabu writes, he got a full flavour of politics, in its “fascinating range from principles, pledges, to perfidies!”

“This journey has had its fair share of highs and lows, successes and failures, appreciation and condemnation, contentment and frustrations, and agreement and disagreements. 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!” Drabu writes.

The former finance minister says that his decision was coming for a while now. “Even though I have not be 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,” Drabu writes. “I didn’t precipitate the matter because I believe it is 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.”

Drabu also talks about how he was brought into politics by the former chief minister, late Mufti Muhammad Sayeed.

“Working with him made me realise that politics is not the last refuge of scoundrels! Occasionally, people with intellectual integrity, personal honesty and moral courage can also be found here. I was exceptionally lucky to have worked with him. I just hope that when history judges Mufti sahib and his decision to ally with the BJP, it does so in the context and with the complexity that it deserves,” Drabu writes.

Wishing “very best” to the PDP, Drabu says the party may contribute to resolution of “long impending political issue”, help in bringing about social order, peace and prosperity in the state.

The PDP was hit by a rebellion soon after its former ally BJP withdrew support to it on June 19 this year, bringing sudden end to the Mehbooba-led government in the state. Days later, seven former legislators of the party rebelled against the party leadership, led by former minister Imran Raza Ansari

While two former legislators returned to the party fold later, Ansari last week joined Sajad Lone-led Peoples Conference who is leading the “third front” in J&K.

Another senior PDP leader and the party’s co-founder Muzaffar Hussain Baig has also hinted at joining the “third front” if it emerges on the political scene, much to the worries of Mehbooba.