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Former JK finance minister Drabu says pained at sacking without being heard
14 March 2018, 06:50 | Cameron Gross
Mehbooba gives Altaf Bukhari additional charge of Finance
Yes, we condemned the statement he (Drabu) gave that this (Kashmir) was not an (political) issue. Drabu said the news of his sacking came as a surprise to him because he was made aware of it via social media.
"In pursuance of Rule 5 of Jammu and Kashmir government Business rules and as an interim measure, I Mehbooba Mufti, do hereby assign the charge of the departments of the Finance, Labour and Employment to Syed Muhammad Altaf Bukhari in addition to the government business already assigned to him", read the order of the CM.
A former journalist, Mr Drabu, said "even as I issue this 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 12th of March. I was not accorded an opportunity to explain the context and the content of my speech", he said.
However, according to reports, Ms Mufti seemed to have developed "dislike" for Mr Drabu and now after his controversial remarks - that Kashmir problem is not political but social - he was dropped by the Chief Minister. "I stand informed by the media first as a speculation, then as a fact", Drabu said.
Bukhari had recently said that the PDP was not averse to snapping ties with the BJP if justice was not done to the family of an eight-year-old girl, who was abducted, raped and murdered in Kathua in January.
Mr Drabu was axed from the state Cabinet yesterday over his statement in a function organised by the PHDCCI in New Delhi that people were "barking up the wrong tree" for decades as the Kashmir issue was not a political one.
The buzz within the PDP has always been that while the late Mufti liked him, Mehbooba never trusted him completely.
Drabu, however, said that he harboured no ill will against anyone.
Rasheed accused that NC and PDP of making an issue out of Drabu's statement without being honest to the political dispute itself.
Along with BJP general secretary Ram Madhav, Drabu was involved in stitching together the alliance between the two parties - one of which (BJP) draws its strength mainly from the Hindu-dominated Jammu region while the other (PDP) is more Kashmir-centric in its political outlook.
"Indeed, the terms and conditions based on which the current PDP-BJP alliance was formed, the Agenda of alliance, was drafted under his guidance".
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