Congress councillors defy whip to vote for Mattu, NC boycotts, BJP supports
Srinagar: After a delay of more than five months, elections for the Mayor of Sringar were held on Wednesday, which Junaid Mattu won again, bagging 44 votes while his rival, former Deputy Mayor Sheikh Imran, secured just seven.
Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) Commissioner Gazanfar Ali told Kashmir Reader that 19 corporators abstained from voting.
The total strength of SMC council is 74, out of which four seats are vacant. The third contestant, Aijaz Rasool of the Congress, withdrew from the contest during voting.
The Congress had asked Rasool to withdraw and issued a whip to its councilors, 16 in number, to vote in favour of Imran. Caring a fig for the party leadership, 10 councillors from the Congress supported Junaid Mattu while 6 councilors boycotted and one councillor cast his vote for Sheikh Imran.
During the election process, the incumbent Deputy Mayor of National Conference, Parvez Qadri, along with some councilors staged a protest. They cried foul and alleged that the Mayor had already been selected while the election was merely a drama.
“I was thrashed by police and forcibly taken out from the Hall. The Municipal Act was violated and notification for the election was issued violating all the rules. It was not an election but a ‘selection’ process,” Qadri said.
Out of 51 votes cast, Junaid Matuu secured 44. The National Conference boycotted the elections while the BJP supported Junaid.
Mattu tweeted about his win, calling it an emphatic verdict. “What a humbling, emphatic verdict! We have touched the 2/3rd majority mark! Thank You to my fellow Hon’ble Corporators and the people of Srinagar for your trust and faith again. Together we will all serve Srinagar and take it to new heights!” he wrote.
On July 15, the J&K government had deferred the elections by more than three months.
Earlier on June 16, Junaid Mattu was removed as Mayor of the SMC after a no-confidence motion against him was passed by the general council of the corporation.