PDP leader Haseeb Drabu's exit will not affect alliance: BJP

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BJP leaders say Ms Mehbooba Mufti had sometime back dropped Syed Altaf Bukhari, a long associate of her father, as party treasurer but brought him back as a minister.

Haseeb Drabu, the ex-finance minister was removed by the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti from the cabinet after he said that 'Kashmir was not a political problem.

When contacted Syed Altaf Bukari confirmed to that he has entrusted with additional responsibility of Finance Department.

Explaining the sequence of events of the past few days, Drabu said that after delivering a speech at New Delhi, he arrived in J&K on March 11 and saw a statement of PDP vice-president Sartaj Madni, asking him to retract the remark he had reportedly made in the Capital.

Justifying his remarks, Mr Drabu said he was speaking to a select gathering of Ambassadors and industrialists, who could be possible investors in peace in Jammu and Kashmir.

The spokesman quoted the Rasheed saying "Omer Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti need to understand and accept the fact that it is only because of the United Nations resolutions that people talk everywhere about the J&K dispute. I was not accorded the opportunity to explain the context and the content of my speech".

Drabu said his speech at the PHDCCI programme on March 9 was focused on a thought, which had been on his mind: the role of civil society in resolving the issue of Kashmir. At a personal level, for me and my family, it is Déja vu! I stand by my choices, political or otherwise.

After the 2014 assembly elections in J&K threw up a fractured mandate, the PDP and the BJP entered into an alliance, the contours (popularly known as the "Agenda of Alliance") of which were worked out by Drabu and Madhav over several rounds of secretive meetings, which began after Mufti and the BJP leadership had taken the formal decision to form the government together. He said the "unflinching confidence" that Mufti (Mohammad Sayeed) always reposed in him and the relationship of trust that "we shared, is my source of strength" to endure this situation.

Remembering his association with late chief minister, Mr Drabu said "not for nothing did he entrust me with the task of negotiating with the BJP and make me the pointsman for the alliance which was later continued by Mehbooba ji".

"Most of it what has happened is due to PDP's internal developments".