Dr Farooq hails PDP's decision of sacking Dr Drabu

Altaf Bukhari gets additional charge of Finance

Rising Kashmir News

Opposition National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah on Tuesday said chief minister Mehbooba Mufti's decision to sack Haseeb Drabu from the council of ministers was right. While I understand and accept the decision of the party, to take to the media before talking to me was painful. "I was not accorded the opportunity to explain the context and the content of my speech", he said in a statement.

"I have no formal or even personal communication either from the government or from the party about my being dropped from the Cabinet on March 12. I deem it necessary to set the record straight", the statement added.

The statement is against the PDP's stand that Kashmir is a political issue that needs a political settlement.What Drabu said is somewhat similar to the BJP's stand that Kashmir is not a political issue but a law and order problem, and that the only point of contention is the occupation of Pakistan-administered Kashmir by Pakistan.

The former minister also said there was a need for civil society institutions to get involved and make interventions in their areas of influence "to resolve the social issues pervading our society".

Faced with threat of strains in its alliance with the PDP getting widened following sacking of Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, the BJP leadership has summoned its senior men in Jammu and Kashmir to Delhi to discuss the situation.

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There were reports that the coterie led by Mehbooba's maternal uncle and vice-president of PDP Sartaj Madni was unhappy with Drabu who was an authority in financial sector and was trying to stem out corruption by introducing the online system of payments by government departments.

"The first decision of the new Finance Minister is to reverse a reform his Govt had bragged about. It is, in fact, very much a part of the PDP's political philosophy and agenda of reconciliation", he said.

"Indeed, the terms and conditions based on which the current PDP-BJP alliance was formed, the Agenda of alliance, was drafted under his guidance". "All political parties in the state criticised his remarks".

The ousted leader is reported to have said that Kashmir was not a political but a social issue.

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