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Fresh jolt to Mehbooba Mufti's PDP as former J&K minister Haseeb Drabu quits party

Dec 6 (AZINS) In another jolt to Mehbooba Mufti-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), senior leader Dr Haseeb Drabu quit the party on Thursday. Announcing his resignation, Drabu, who served as the Finance Minister in Mufti Mohammed Sayeed's BJP-PDP government, showered praises on his patron saying that "politics is not the last refuge of scoundrels."

A journalist-turned-banker who later joined politics, Drabu wore many hats before joining the PDP four and half years ago. In 2014, he successfully contested assembly polls from Rajpora constituency of Pulwama district on PDP ticket and became the Finance Minister in Jammu and Kashmir government.

An architect of "Agenda of Alliance" with the BJP, Drabu was forced to quit the Mehbooba Mufti cabinet in March for allegedly going against the party line by claiming that Kashmir is not a political but a social problem.

“Even though I have not been 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 from the party affairs for quite some time now. 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 from the PDP," he wrote in his resignation letter.

The growing gulf between Drabu and party was visible when he declined his nomination to the Political Affairs Committee (PAC), the highest decision making body of the PDP, on September 8, sarcastically commenting that he was pleasantly surprised to read, first in the social media and subsequently in the print media, that he had been “nominated” to the PAC .

“The 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 I am thankful for, many more I am grateful for and yet much more I am distressed about. A slice of life in itself as it were," he said.

Showering praises on PDP founder Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, he said working with him made him realize 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 when history judges Mufti Saab and his decision to ally with the BJP, it does so in the context and with the complexity it deserves," he said.