The Jammu & Kashmir government on Monday sacked state finance minister Haseeb Drabu for his controversial comment “Kashmir is not a political issue” and the province is not a “conflict state”. Drabu who is an economist and has vast experience in financial domain had taken charge as the state finance minister on 4 March 2015.
The state government led by chief minister Mehbooba Mufti’s Peoples Democratic Party has sent Drabu’s sacking letter to governor Narinder Nath Vohra for a final decision. Two days ago on 10 March, Drabu had said Jammu and Kashmir should not be seen as a conflict state or a political problem, but as a society with social issues.
Speaking at an event themed ‘Kashmir: the way forward’ here last night, Drabu asked the people to “introspect” over the nature and origins of the situation in the state and how it can be resolved, PTI had reported on Saturday.
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah took to the Twitter to say that Drabu’s speech at PHDCCI cost him dearly and his berth in the state cabinet.
His PHDCCI speech cost him dearly. Will be interesting to see who replaces him in the Finance Ministry. https://t.co/VB1gr2a1Sk
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) March 12, 2018
“I am happy that a major responsibility has been given to me by the party. I will work hard to come up to the expectation and try to strength the economic structure of the State,” Drabu had told PTI at the time of his appointment as Jammu and Kashmir finance minister.
Mufti-led PDP has an alliance government with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which is ruling at the Centre with prime minister Narendra Modi at the helm. The PDP-BJP coalition government was formed after the 2015 state elections dethroned the Omar Abdullah government of the National Conference (NC).
On 10 March, speaking at an event themed ‘Kashmir: the way forward’, Drabu asked the people to “introspect” over the nature and origins of the situation in the state and how it can be resolved. “We need to talk to ourselves before we talk to others and this must happen nationally as well,” he said, according to PTI. Drabu, who has been the chief negotiator of the PDP, also held Labour, Employment and Culture Minister, apart from Finance Minister’s portfolio in the Jammu and Kashmir government.
Drabu has also been chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Bank long before he was given a seat in the state council of ministers. As J&K finance minister he was member of the all-powerful Goods and Services Tax or GST Council.