J&K Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu asked to step down

However, given her close proximity with BJP leaders, some of the PDP leaders were not happy with him.

The Governor, after examining the letter, wrote back to the chief minister conveying his nod to her request to drop the 57-year-old Drabu from her council of ministers, officials said. Sources said the PDP leadership had written to Drabu seeking an explanation for his remarks but he did not bother to reply.

"Those who see Jammu and Kashmir as a conflict state, as a political issue ...it's a society which has social issues right now..."

He further added that "I appreciate the courageous act of Mehbooba Mufti". "We seriously need to look at it in terms of how it is a society that is in search for itself", he said at the event organized by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Drabu's statement proved the last nail in the coffin and he was finally sacked and not asked to resign.

"Party's agenda is supreme and it is a lesson for all others not to make comments which goes against the interests of the party and people of the state", J&K's education minister Altaf Bukhari said.

PDP vice president Mohammad Sartaj Madni flayed Drabu and said Kashmir was a political issue and the PDP was pursuing its resolution.

Drabu, the Journalist turned banker turned economist turned Finance Minister has been in the thick of things since BJP-PDP government was formed in the restive state on March 1, 2015. In recent times, leaders from BJP and PDP have openly criticised each other.

"PDP, since its inception, has considered Kashmir issue as political".

The separatists reacted with outrage.

"There is no problem with what Drabu said". Drabu has deliberately made the statement to prove his credentials to quarters that matter to him.

Even the valley's business associations slammed the minister's remarks.

After the statement created political furore in Kashmir, the chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, Malik, came down heavily on Drabu, the MLA from Rajpora constituency of Pulwama in south Kashmir. "This is outrageous and should be condemned by one and all", said Tenga.

For the PDP, it is a loaded statement as the party used to espouse "self-rule" for Jammu and Kashmir. "Senior leaders should b careful in their statements & observations while commenting on our basic pol philosophy & core agenda".

"It is unfortunate that the problem is seen by some forces in the sub-continent as a mere management assignment to contain peoples' aspirations and the resolution commitment is being aimlessly undermined. We had served a show-cause notice to Drabu Sunday to which he did not reply", a senior PDP minister told ThePrint.

"We will wait for his (Drabu) response".

Vanessa Coleman

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