SRINAGAR – The crisis in the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) deepened on Tuesday as 40 corporators moved a no-confidence motion against its Mayor Junaid Mattu — a day after a similar motion was submitted against his deputy.
The fresh no-confidence motion moved by independent corporators was supported by the BJP.
The deputy mayor of the SMC, Sheikh Imran, was removed from his post on Monday after a majority of corporators passed a no-confidence motion against him.
“The BJP has supported the no-confidence motion against the SMC Mayor moved by independent corporators,” Kashmir BJP media incharge Manzoor Bhat told reporters here.
Bhat said the mayor and his deputy had “failed” to carry out developmental work in the city and had lost the confidence of the corporators.
“About 29 independent corporators approached us and as a party which has promised grassroots development to the people, we were compelled to support the motion against the mayor. There has been no developmental work in the last one year. Our party has 11 corporators and in total we are 40 now. We need only 36 corporators (to move the motion),” he said.
The BJP leader said the corporators submitted the motion to the SMC commissioner and a floor test would be conducted in a few days.
He said the motion in support of the mayor by some councillors on Monday was “fake” and appealed the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir to order an inquiry into it.
“That motion is fake. Those signatures are old and we want an inquiry into it,” Bhat said.
SMC Commissioner Khurshid Sanai confirmed that the no-confidence motion against the mayor has been accepted.
“We have received the motion signed by 40 members against the mayor. The scrutiny has been done and all the signatures have been found valid,” Sanai told PTI.
He said a floor test has to be held anytime after 48 hours of receiving the motion.
“That floor test will determine the fate of the Mayor. It will be held and the process for that is on,” he said.
The BJP had already made it clear it will support any initiative by independent corporators to move a no-confidence motion against the mayor due to the prevalent malfunctioning of the office, former BJP MLC Surinder Ambardar said.
BJP leaders including General Secretary (organisation) Ashok Koul and Ambardar are said to have played a major role in this latest development.
Former National Conference (NC) leader Mattu, who quit the party to contest the urban local body polls in Jammu and Kashmir, was elected mayor of the SMC with the support from the BJP and the Peoples Conference in October last year.
Mattu resigned from the primary membership of the NC in September after the party decided it would contest the urban local body polls only after the Centre cleared its position on Article 35-A, which was challenged before the Supreme Court.
He was announced as the mayoral candidate by Peoples Conference chairman Sajad Gani Lone hours after the election results were declared on October 20
On Monday, 47 corporators moved a no-confidence motion against the deputy mayor, while a majority of the corporators had expressed their support for Mattu.
The SMC has the strength of 70 corporators including a mayor and a deputy mayor.
SMC Dy mayor resigns
The deputy mayor of Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC), Sheikh Imran, who was removed from his post on Monday after majority of corporators passed a no-confidence motion against him, resigned on Tuesday, officials said.
An application seeking the removal of the deputy mayor was signed by 47 of the total 70 corporators on Monday, SMC commissioner Khurshid Sanai had said.
Imran has sent his resignation letter from the sub-jail today (Tuesday), an official told PTI.
A new deputy mayor will be elected in the next three to four days, Sanai had said.
Imran has been under detention at MLA Hostel here along with several other political leaders after the Centre scrapped provisions of Article 370, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and bifurcated the state into Union territories.
He became the deputy mayor of the SMC with Congress’ support after the urban local body polls in November last year.
Later, Imran had joined Sajad Lone-led People’s Conference. SMC Mayor Junaid Azim Mattu is also a member of the same party.
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