18 May, 2021

Too Good To Play Number 2

The CM chucks her finance minister. Did she sense a parallel power centre?

Haseeb Drabu, who was sacked on March 12
Photograph by Getty Images
Too Good To Play Number 2

In early 2003, Haseeb Drabu had returned to the Valley as economic advisor to the chief minister. The two-party coalition government then was led by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) founder Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. The budget that year was zero-deficit for the first time in the state’s history, winning the praise of even the Opposition National Conference (NC). The PhD holder from Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University went on to become a loyalist of Sayeed’s PDP, which he joined in 2014 ahead of the state elections that he won. Today, that 15-year tryst with the PDP has soured: the ruling party in Jammu and Kashmir has dismissed Drabu as finance minister.

Known for his penchant for courting controversies, the 57-year-old from Srinagar got the sack on March 12—three days after he delivered a speech at a Delhi convention of a vintage trade body. A portion of the talk turned out to be controversial, but wasn’t actually something new from Drabu. What he pertinently told the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry event was this: Kashmir is not...

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