Former JK finance minister Drabu says pained at sacking without being heard

Altaf Bukhari gets additional charge of Finance

Altaf Bukhari gets additional charge of Finance

Former Jammu and Kashmir finance minister Haseeb Drabu today broke silence on his unceremonious exit from the Mehbooba Mufti government saying the decision was a "surprise" and the manner in which it was conveyed "shocking".

Education minister Mohmmad Altaf Bukhari has been given the additional charge of finance department.

"Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has the prerogative to appoint or drop anyone from the council of Ministers", Avinash Rai Khanna, BJP's vice president and in-charge of J&K affairs told The Hindu. While I understand and accept the decision, 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.

"Those who heard my speech or care to read it dispassionately will know that when I was talking about our aspirations and the efforts at self-discovery, I was in fact nuancing the very stand of the People's Democratic Party before a very select audience", he asserted. The party (PDP) saw that this is an issue. "We seriously need to look at in terms of how it is a society that is in search for itself", Drabu had said at an event organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry in New Delhi on Friday.

The PDP leadership was apparently annoyed with Drabu for dismissing the political nature of the Kashmir issue although he himself had in the agenda of alliance got the clause inserted for political resolution of the problem by holding dialogue with all stake holders including the separatists who have been making anti-India statements and maligning the Indian Army and security forces.

He said he was part of the group that formulated the PDP's self-rule document, and added, "To the best of my understanding and knowledge, this in no way goes against the articulated and stated political position of PDP".

Drabu revealed that chief minister Mehbooba Mufti had even refused to take his call.