Srinagar: In a setback to the PDP, its senior leader and former finance minister Haseeb Drabu on Thursday announced he was resigning from the party.
It is not known yet whether his resignation has been accepted by PDP president Mehbooba Mufti.
In a letter addressed to Mehbooba Mufti, Drabu said he was not a “dissident” but his resignation had been coming for some time now.
“Even though I have not been a dissident, you are aware I had resigned from the cabinet, assembly, and party nearly two years ago, a resignation which you did not accept. I have disengaged myself from party affairs for quite some time now,” said the politician who had earlier served as J&K Bank chairman.
Drabu won on PDP ticket Pulwama’s Rajpora assembly constituency in the 2014 state elections. He said now that the Governor had dissolved the state assembly, he could resign as a free man.
“I did not precipitate the matter because I believe it is ethically and morally wrong to leave the party under whose aegis one has contested and won a seat in the legislative assembly,” Drabu said. “Now that is over, I am hereby resigning from J&K PDP.”
Ever since the BJP walked out of its alliance with PDP in June this year, Mehbooba’s party has been in a crisis situation, as one leader after another has quit. Last month, PDP co-founder and Member of Parliament Muzaffar Hussain Baig all but declared his intentions of joining the Sajad Lone-led Peoples Conference.
In his resignation letter, Drabu praised Mehbooba’s father, the late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, at whose behest, Drabu said, he had held negotiations with BJP’s Ram Madhav to cobble together an alliance.
Drabu was a crucial player in the late Mufti’s team, but his role diminished after Mehbooba Mufti assumed charge as Chief Minister in 2016. He was sacked by Mehbooba from her cabinet early this year for his controversial remarks that Kashmir was not a political issue.
“As I do so, I do want to remember Mufti sahib who sought me out and got me into politics. Working with him made me realise that politics is not the “last refuge of scoundrels!” Drabu said.
“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 that when history judges Mufti sahib and his decision to ally with the BJP, it does so in the context and with the complexity that it deserves,” Drabu said, expressing a wish that the PDP may contribute to the resolution of the Kashmir political issue.