Sunday, 14 August, 2022
HomePoliticsCandidate that J&K governor hinted would be Srinagar mayor is now mayor

Candidate that J&K governor hinted would be Srinagar mayor is now mayor

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Independent Junaid Mattu, the “foreign-educated” face that Governor Satya Pal Malik implied would be mayor, beats Congress’ Rasool Hajam to the post.

New Delhi: Independent candidate Junaid Azim Mattu Tuesday edged out the Congress’ Ghulam Rasool Hajam to be elected as the mayor of the prestigious Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC).   

A state election commission official said Mattu secured the votes of 40 councillors, as against the 26 votes of the Congress candidate in the 74-member council. Of the remaining eight members, votes of four were invalid while four others abstained.

His victory, however, will further raise questions over the credibility of the urban body elections as it comes nearly a month after Governor Satya Pal Malik drew flak in the state for his remarks that a “foreign-educated” face would be the Srinagar mayor.

Mattu is an alumnus of Michigan State University. He returned to Kashmir in 2009 and was noticed by political circles due to his presence on TV news panel discussions.

A former member of the National Conference, Mattu was known to be close to former chief minister Omar Abdullah, before he resigned from the party in early September citing “humble disagreement” with its decision to boycott the local body polls.

Also read: BJP claims victory in Kashmir local body polls but the numbers tell a different story

Governor’s controversial remarks

Governor Satya Pal Malik had kicked up a row on 8 October, after saying that Srinagar will have a “foreign-educated young leader” as its mayor. It prompted a backlash from the Valley’s mainstream political parties.

While the NC the said the remarks put questions marks on the credibility of the process, the PDP said the statement didn’t behove that from a governor.

Mattu, however, was supported by the People’s Conference and its chairman Sajjad Lone. In a press conference later in the day, Mattu said he was already a member of the People’s Conference. He also said that the BJP is a reality in Kashmir.

Also read: Article 370: Can Modi revoke it before 2019 and will it heal or hit Kashmir’s ties with rest of India?

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