Move afoot to disqualify SMC mayor

Move afoot to disqualify SMC mayor

SRINGAR: Even as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-backed mayor of Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) is yet to complete six months in office, a period during which no action can be taken against the mayor, a rebellion aimed at moving a no-confidence motion against him has begun to brew. The move, if successful, will disqualify Mayor Junaid Mattu and pave the way for appointment of a new mayor.
About 45 councillors who come from Congress, PDP, independents, and few supporters of Mattu, are these days grouping together to find common ground for moving a no-confidence motion against Mattu. The motion, according to one of the officials of SMC’s general council, will have to be produced in the form of a resolution once the mayor completes six months’ term.
“There will be a no-confidence motion against the RSS-backed mayor. Once he completes his six-month term, during which no such move can be made, a no-confidence motion will be moved against him. We need support from more than 35 councillors. We have 45 on board who come from Congress, PDP, independents, and some of those who work with Mattu,” deputy mayor Sheikh Imran told Kashmir Reader.
Imran said that he has nothing personal against Mattu, but the fight is against the BJP, which helped him become the mayor.
Against such moves Junaid, since he was elected, has been fighting, and winning, but it remains to be seen how long he can sustain his success. The first sign of defeat was when the BJP-backed Sajjad Lone’s candidate lost the deputy mayor election by one vote. Then Junaid was accused by a female corporator of misconduct, and then of corruption.
Mattu has managed to bring close to him some of the councillors who were close to the deputy mayor, and few of those who had joined PDP recently. Imran said that Mattu was able to do so because he was under the protective period of six months, but his tricks won’t last once the period is over.
According to the senior official of SMC’s general council who spoke on condition of anonymity, the term of mayor stands for two-and-a-half years. After its expiry, he has to prove his majority again. The official said that at present there are 70 elected councillors, majority of whom have offered support for Junaid.
“It is interesting to see if the present conglomeration moves against the mayor because it is not easy to do so for practical reasons,” the official added.
One of the BJP’s councillors who too had voted for Junaid told Kashmir Reader that most of the councillors are unhappy with the mayor, and are rethinking their support.
“There have been talks going on for some time. People working on it have been consulting me, too, and others. Some of them have already shown their willingness. But this willingness comes at a cost. Would the instigator of this move be successful remains to be seen,” he said.