Srinagar’s Municipal Corporation Mayor Junaid Azim Mattu was on Monday removed from the post after he lost a no-confidence motion that he said some councilors had moved against him.
The Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference leader announced his defeat in a series of tweets. “The vote of ‘No Confidence Motion’ against me, and the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference has been passed in the SMC [Srinagar Municipal Corporation] with 42 votes out of 70,” Mattu said. “The BJP, Jammu and Kashmir National Conference and some Independents have polled against the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference and Congress abstaining whip where 28 corporators abstained.”
The Congress has 17 corporators and had issued a whip, asking its members to refrain from participating in the no-confidence proceedings, according to PTI. The corporation has a total strength of 74 members, but currently four seats are vacant, according to the Greater Kashmir.
Mattu said he respected the verdict and claimed that the Bharatiya Janata Party and the National Conference had united in Srinagar. “The seemingly unthinkable seems to have happened as the National Conference and BJP have come together in Srinagar,” he said. “But more on that later.”
However, the National Conference denied any involvement in his removal. “He was there because of BJP’s mercy and their curse has now led to his fall,” National Conference chief spokesperson Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi told Outlook. “His friends have backstabbed him.”
BJP’s Jammu and Kashmir unit General Secretary Ashok Koul also refuted Mattu’s allegation and said his party had nothing to do with Mattu’s removal.
There was a lot of controversy when Mattu was elected to the mayor’s office two years ago. Former Jammu and Kashmir Governor SP Malik had said he would be the next mayor of Srinagar. However, Malik’s statement had triggered a political storm in the Valley and the National Conference and Congress had questioned the credibility of the municipal elections.
A series of meetings were held at Mattu’s party colleague Sheikh Imran’s residence in the last few days. Imran was removed as the deputy mayor in December. However, the news agency report suggested that Imran was a key player in removing Mattu from the mayor’s post.