Cong- BJP Backed Mattu Wrests Mayor’s Chair Amid High Drama Poll

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KO Photo: Abid Bhat

Srinagar: A high voltage drama unfolded at the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) office here on Wednesday during the Mayoral elections, as Junaid Azim Mattu was yet again elected to the chair with the support of BJP and Congress councillors.

According to reports, unruly scenes were witnessed at the SMC office as the Deputy Mayor Parvez Qadri objected to the conduct of polls, saying that the Municipal Act 2,000 was being violated while conducting the election for the top post of the city’s civic body. However, despite his opposition, the voting continued amid a high voltage drama, with his supporters raising slogans against the polling process.

Authorities had to call in police to ensure smooth conduct of polls, which concluded with the election of Junaid Mattu again as the Mayor of SMC.

There are a total number of 74 corporators in the corporation, out of which only 51 voted. Junaid Mattoo defeated his opponent Sheikh Imran, the former Deputy Mayor with a margin of 37 votes.

Mattoo got 44 votes, while Sheikh Imran bagged only 07 votes.

Mattu, who was last associated with the People’s Conference led by Sajad Lone, was removed from the mayor’s post in June in a no-confidence motion.

Imran, who was also in the People’s Conference at that time, was seen as the prime mover behind Mattu’s removal.

Mattu’s ascent to the mayoral post in 2018 was surrounded by controversy as the then governor of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, S P Malik, had predicted that he would be the next mayor of the city, weeks before the first vote was cast.

The governor’s remarks had raised question marks about the election as the names of all the candidates were kept secret even from their electorate in view of security threat perceptions.

Meanwhile both sides accused each other of highhandedness against each other.

Qadri accused Commissioner and Secretary SMC of violating Municipal Act 2,000 to elect a mayor of their choice.

“I was not issued any notice for the conduct of the elections, which is obligatory according to the Act,” he said

“When we objected to the violation, police were brought in to attack us and I and five other corporators were forcibly dragged out of the polling hall,” he added.

The newly elected Mayor Junaid Mattu, on the other hand while thanking the corporators for electing him again, accused the opponents for hooliganism and vandalizing the public property.

“Authorities must book those who tried to hijack the poll process and vandalize the public property and action should be taken against them,” he said.

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