Drabu left Mehbooba with no option but to fire him

Mohammad Sayeed Malik. Dated: 3/13/2018 12:14:49 PM

Circumstances of finance minister Haseeb Drabu’s unceremonious exit from the uneasy PDP-BJP coalition government, today, bear striking resemblance to those of his senior predecessor Muzaffar Hussain Beig’s exit from the GN Azad-led Congress-PDP government over a decade ago.
Both were sacked on disciplinary grounds—violating the Laxman Rekha set by the politics and ideology of their parent political organization.
Apparently, the tipping point in both cases came with their alleged erroneous self-estimation vis-à-vis their respective leaders---Mufti Mohammad Sayeed in the former case and Mehbooba Mufti in the latter one.
Mehbooba, in this case, has demonstrated that, all said and done she is very much her father’s daughter if and when it comes to demonstrating it, even if that means consigning the perceived leading lights of their teams to political doghouse.
PDP’s relationship with the Congress at the time of Baig-episode was as uneasy as it is today between the PDP and BJP.
More than what Drabu said for which he paid the penalty it is surprising why did he say it at all. He is an intelligent person. By now sufficiently experienced in the delicate nuances of politics and ideology anchored in the Kashmir issue.
His controversial public statement in Delhi virtually sought to knock out the raison d’etre of his party and its government. Sharp adverse reaction from the rank and file was not surprising at all, except perhaps to him. Otherwise he would have explained his position.
Eventually, he left his leader with no option but to take the drastic extreme step of showing him the door. No leader worth his/her salt would allow himself/herself to be seen publicly challenged over the settled position on critical issues.
The end of the story was indelibly written in its script.
Coming back to Muzaffar Beig analogy, it is clear that a Valley-based party’s tie up with a national-level party suffers from certain built-in deformities of politics as well as ideology. That is not confined to the PDP. The National Conference is not free from it either. That is why inter-party differences/animosities find an echo in the intra-party domain—on both sides.
Right now PDP-BJP share an uneasy relationship (some even say non- relationship). Drabu allowed himself to be seen drawing closer to the other side, to the discomfiture of his own camp. Justified or not some even dubbed him as ‘Ram Madhav of the PDP’. That might sound uncharitable but it is how it is.
That perception/impression ought to have made Drabu more sensitive to what he was seen to be doing or saying. Either he missed to perceive it or chose to ignore it. Either way, he has paid the price for ‘negligence’.
In the coming days and weeks, hopefully more details would fall into public domain to make a larger assessment of this incident. Till then, the impression would remain that Drabu paid the price for his avoidable indiscretion.



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