Haseeb Drabu speaks to ANI a day after resigning from the party
Haseeb Drabu speaks to ANI a day after resigning from the party

Drabu makes veiled attack on Mehbooba, says PDP’s vision has changed under her

ANI | Updated: Dec 07, 2018 16:48 IST

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], Dec 7 (ANI):  A day after quitting PDP, former Jammu and Kashmir Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu on Friday made a veiled attack on party chief Mehbooba Mufti as he said  the “vision” of the party had changed “due to the party’s new leadership”.
Drabu, who had played a key role in forging of an alliance between the PDP and the BJP which ran a coalition government in the state for about three years, resigned on Thursday.
The 57-year-old professional economist was associated with the PDP for four and a half years.
“The vision of PDP has changed specifically after the demise of (former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister) Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. This change came due to the party’s new leadership,” he told ANI here.
Although he did not take any names, his criticism was clearly targeted at Mehbooba Mufti, the daughter of Mufti Sayeed who took the party’s reins after her father’s demise on January 7, 2016.
In March this year, Mehbooba, then Chief Minister, had sacked Drabu as her Finance Minister after his controversial remarks that Jammu and Kashmir should not be seen as a conflict state or a political problem but as a society with social issues.
“I still wish well for the party. I do not have any personal problem with the party but its new outlook,” Drabu said on Friday.
In his letter to Mehbooba on Thursday, he said his resignation "had been coming for a while now" as he had already "disengaged" himself from the party affairs for "quite some time now".
While speaking to ANI, Drabu fondly spoke about his association with late Mufti Sayeed.                      
Describing Mufti as his mentor in the political sphere, Drabu said, “I came into politics because of him (Mufti). I worked with him as his economic advisor in 2003. He appreciated my work and brought me into the party.
He said Mufti, who was earlier with the Congress for decades, had founded PDP in 1999 with a different vision and ideology.
“We got to learn a lot from him.  He had a vision and he aligned with BJP. I drafted the ‘Agenda of Alliance’ for the same. He had an agenda on which we were working but it has changed now,” Drabu said.
Mufti, who served as Union Home Minister from December 1989 to November 1990, had tied up with the BJP to form a government in Jammu and Kashmir in March 2015 after the Assembly elections threw up a fractured verdict.
The step was hugely significant since the two parties are seen to have completely opposite ideologies.
The alliance was continued by Mehbooba but it collapsed in June this year when the BJP pulled out.
In his resignation letter, Drabu referred to the forging of the alliance and hoped that when history judges Mufti Sayeed and his decision, "it does so in the context and with the complexity it deserves".
Recalling his association with the PDP, he said, “I can't say that I enjoyed every moment of it."
He went on to add in the letter to Mehbooba: “Even though I have not been a dissident -- you are aware that 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 said he “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 that is over...”
On being asked about his political future, Drabu said, “I haven’t thought about it. I have also been a writer and would like to write without conflicting with the view of the party.”  (ANI)