On Tuesday, Junaid Mattu was elected as Mayor of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) with the support of right-wing Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) and its ally, Peoples Conference (PC).
Mattu was the former spokesperson of the National Conference (NC), who had resigned from the NC in September to contest for the Urban Local Bodies (ULB) polls. Out of 74 votes, Mattu managed to clinch 40 while his rival Ghulam Rasool Hajam of Congress secured 26 votes. Four votes were declared invalid. Meanwhile, Sheikh Imran, an independent candidate, backed by the Congress was elected as the deputy mayor. He got 35 votes while his rival Saleem Lone, an independent candidate backed by the PC, got 34 votes. One vote was rejected.
The governor of Jammu and Kashmir Satya Pal Malik, without naming Mattu, had earlier hinted that Srinagar would get a foreign educated mayor. The governor’s remark was strongly opposed by other political parties who stated that the elections were rigged. Speaking to press conference, Mattu said that his focus would be on the development of Srinagar. “I am committed to providing the better facilities to the people. I will make Srinagar a model city,” he said.