Srinagar: The tussle between Mayor and Deputy Mayor has virtually brought work in Srinagar Municipal Corporation to a halt.
Both Mayor Junaid Azim Mattu and Deputy Mayor Sheikh Imran washed their dirty linen in Public. Both talked to media on Tuesday and levelled accusations at each other while Congress party Corporator Shaheena Bhat backed by Imran once again leveled grave accusations on Mattu calling him corrupt and man with no principles. Shaheena along with Deputy Mayor jointly interacted with media and targeted Mattu.
The woman corporator accused Mattu of seeking sexual favours. She also accused his staff of abusing and manhandling her in office. “We go to office to save our honour. But if our honour is disparaged, we will not accept it. He has been continuously asking me to come with him for enjoyment. He has harassed me a number of times. If police do not lodge an FIR, we will approach the Supreme Court,” the woman corporator said.
Sheikh Imran alleged that Mattu is the biggest hindrance as he is unable to perform his duties in presence of Mayor.
Imran termed Mattu a middle man of BJP. He (Mattu) is threatening the corporators and other persons by misusing the name of (PM) Narendra Modi and Ram Madhav. He is working on the diktats of BJP, said Imran. Imran alleged that the Mayor is promoting Illegal transfers through pick and choose method and corruption has become rampant. He (Mayor) is interfering in the matters which dont fall in his domain. Imran urged the investigation agencies including CBI and Vigilance to investigate the corruption cases. He also urged BJP leadership to rein in Mattu.
If Police does not take action against Mattu, we will not only hit roads but will withdraw support, Sheikh Imran and Shaheena Bhat threatened.
Sheikh Imran said that he is only supporting Shaheena as she is the victim.
The issue has divided the Srinagar Municipal Corporation into two camps with the Mayor claiming that the woman corporator is working on the instructions of his deputy, Sheikh Imran.
Imran said 40 to 50 corporators will resign to dissolve the SMC. “Junaid Mattu will be in minority. We all are one and we have vowed that we will not allow excesses to be committed with us,” said Imran.
In response to the accusation leveled by the corporator and deputy mayor, Mattu said that Sheikh Imran is corrupt and want to resort to corrupt practices. “If Sheikh Imran thinks he will loot the SMC, he is mistaken. He has looted J&K bank and I will not allow him to loot SMC,” Mattu told reporters at his press conference.
He dismissed allegations by Shaheena Bhat who he said was of his mothers age and has children of his age.
“This is in reference to baseless, concocted and motivated accusations made against me by a corporator belonging to the Indian National Congress. The said corporator, who has accused me of sexual harassment, is my mother’s age and has children as old as me,” .
The mayor added that he did not attend office on Monday, but chaired a review meeting of the works wing of the SMC at his official residence at Church Lane.
“This is a fact that can be verified by nearly 20 gazetted officers, who were present in the meeting, as well as the security staff at my residence and those deputed for access control at my office. At the end of the meeting, I received a call from my private secretary (an employee of the SMC) who said the corporator had barged into my office and physically assaulted the private secretary, Mr Hussain.
“She broke the computers and fixtures in the office, demanding that a shop be allotted in favour of her husband in Srinagar and a job be arranged for a person she claimed to be her son. She had persistently put forth these undue and illegal demands to me, for which I have proof. These are demands that I refused, while upholding the integrity of my office and the SMC,” he said.
When asked about Deputy Mayors claim of having support of 40 corporators, Mattu said he had the support of an overwhelming majority of the corporators of the municipal corporation and had written to Governor S P Malik seeking disqualification of the woman corporator for levelling “baseless allegations”. “I want the whole issue to be investigated. God is witness that I am clean, and I have not done anything wrong. The accusations are baseless, and I want the truth to come out,” Mattu told reporters here.
“I have spoken to my lawyers and will file a defamation case against the said corporator and urge the police to uncover the truth and uphold the law. I stand by the values of transparency, honesty and diligence in performing my duties and will not succumb to any pressure tactics to facilitate corruption. That is unacceptable. I will fight these baseless allegations and have no doubt that the truth shall prevail,” he said.
Mattu who switched sides from National Conference to Sajad Lone’s People’s Conference last year ahead of the urban and local bodies polls, got the support from his party supremo as well.
“We have full faith in you”, tweeted Lone, while sharing Mattu’s statement on his timeline.
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