The National Conference (NC) and the Congress questioned the impartiality of the Governor Satyapal Malik when he favoured the appointment of Junaid Azim Mattu as the Mayor of Srinagar. Mattu was the spokesperson of NC earlier and after boycotting Municipal and Panchayat polls, he had resigned from the party.
In a statement, the National Conference spokesperson said that the decision to appoint Mattu was “appalling” and puts a big question mark on the impartiality of the Governor’s office.
In a joint statement released from the party headquarters Nawa-e-Subah, senior NC leader and MLA Eidgah Mubarak Gul, Women’s Wing President Shameema Firdous, Central Secretary Irfan Shah, Provincial Vice President Muhammad Syed Akhoon and District President Srinagar Peer Afaq Ahmad said that the ongoing election process was a camouflage to hide the machinations of the Governor’s office to control the democratic institutions in the State. The statement also mentioned that the NC was not against any person becoming the Mayor. However, they said that they had concerns when the Governor had unambiguously expressed his intentions to appointing someone beforehand. “There is already a big question mark on the fairness of ongoing ULB polls in the Valley. Adding to the confusion, Governor’s remarks reveal that he has no reverence for the due process of elections,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, reacting to the Governor’s statement, Congress said the declarations of the Governor were unfavourable to the electoral exercise. The J&K Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) Vice President and MLC Gulam Nabi Monga expressed surprise over the Governor’s statement and also said that the ongoing ULB polls had lost reliability as the BJP and the RSS had already decided as to who would be the Mayor of Srinagar. In a statement, the congress leader said that the governor failed to uphold the constitutional authority of the Raj Bhavan.