The resignation from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Jammu and Kashmir of Haseeb Drabu, former finance minister in the erstwhile Mehbooba Mufti-led PDP-BJP government is doubtlessly a blow to the beleaguered party. The PDP has indeed been reeling from the loss of power caused by the imposition of Governor’s rule with visible dissidence, and Drabu’s departure adds to Mehbooba’s continuing woes.
It was Drabu who had stitched the alliance between the PDP and the BJP in 2015 when the party was led by Mufti Mohammed Sayeed but if was clear when Mehbooba sacked him as finance minister in March last that he would leave the present dispensation some day. He had cut himself off from party affairs and had not accepted Mehbooba’s appointment of him to the high-profile Political Affairs Committee last September. Drabu’s prowess as an economist was well known but his rise to the second position in the party next to Mehbooba rankled the rank and file.
He was indeed peeved at the “taste of principles, pledges and perfidy” in his three years in politics, as he put it in his letter of resignation. The ‘perfidy’ indeed left him ‘distressed’. Drabu has not spelt out what he would do next. It is still a matter of speculation whether he would join hands with Sajjad Lone’s People’s Conference which another prominent erstwhile PDP leader Imran Ansari has joined and parliamenMuzzafar Hussain Beig seems to be heading towards. Drabu may instead stay out of politics and opt for a high-profile job at the behest of the Centre. All in all, the PDP seems to be skating on thin ice and Mehbooba Mufti is groping for relevance.