Srinagar: The election for Srinagar’s new Mayor has been postponed for three months, ostensibly due to the Covid-19 situation, says a government order issued here on Wednesday.
The election scheduled on Tuesday was deferred because of ‘unavailability’ of space at the Banquet Hall. Thursday, July 16, was set as the new date for it.
Now an order issued by the Housing and Urban Development Department says the election has been extended, up to the maximum three months since the Mayor’s post fell vacant (June 160, as per Sub-section (2) of Section 36 of J&K Municipal Corporation Act, 2000, notified vide SO 219 dated 15-07-2020.
“Whereas, in view of the health pandemic COVlD-19, the District Magistrate, Srinagar (Chairman, District Disaster Management Authority, Srinagar) has issued orders prohibiting any inward/ outward movement in red zones of Srinagar District, the Government hereby extends the time limit for the conduct of said election to three months from the date the office of the Mayor fell vacant,” reads the order.
Further, it says, “Whereas ,the second proviso to sub-section (2) of section 36 of J&K Municipal Corporation Act, 2000, notified vide SO 219 Dated 15-07-2020 provides that the Government may, if the circumstances so warrant, on account of reasons of internal security, public health including health pandemic, natural calamity such as floods, earthquake, snowstorm or an event of a similar nature or any other reason which is a hindrance to the conduct of election of the Mayor or the Deputy Mayor, by reasons to be recorded in writing, extend the time limit of conducting the elections up to a maximum of three months from the date the office of the Mayor or the Deputy Mayor falls vacant.”
It also stated that the post of Mayor, Srinagar Municipal Corporation, had fallen vacant on 16th of June 2020 and was to be filled up within a period of one month, in terms of Section 36 of the Jammu & Kashmir Municipal Corporation Act, 2000.
The post fell vacant after a non-confidence motion was passed by corporators against former Mayor Junaid Azam Mattu. Since then, the Mayor’s post is vacant and now two candidates, including Mattu, and former deputy mayor Sheikh Imran are contesting against each other.