BJP weighs options to remove Srinagar mayor, his deputy
The Congress and the Peoples’ Conference, which are the largest parties in the corporation, term the BJP’s claim as ‘day dreaming’Updated: Dec 11, 2019 23:11 IST
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is weighing options to remove city mayor Junaid Azim Mattu and his deputy Sheikh Imran from their posts by planning to bring no confidence motion against both of them in the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC).
The Congress and the Peoples’ Conference, which are the largest parties in the corporation, term the BJP’s claim as ‘day dreaming’.
Of the 70 corporators of SMC, the BJP had got four people elected on its symbol during the 2018 elections. However, party leaders claim support of more than 40 corporators now.
The National Conference and the PDP didn’t participate in the polls, though later, many corporators announced joining these parties. The Congress had won 17 seats. However, during polls, Junaid Azim Mattu and Sheikh Imran got elected as the mayor and deputy mayor. Later, Imran also joined the Peoples Conference and Sajjad Lone’s party which was seen close to the BJP then, took control of the civic body.
BJP’s district president and Nawakadal corporator Arif Raja told HT that the SMC is currently defunct and no developmental works are been taken up. “We will be bringing a no confidence motion against the mayor and his deputy,” he said.
Raja, who unsuccessfully contested the 2014 Lok Sabha polls from Srinagar constituency, said the BJP has currently more than the required number to bring down the mayor and his deputy. “From past few days, we have been holding meetings with the corporators who will support our move,” he said, adding that in last few months many corporators have joined the BJP. “Once voting will be held we can prove our majority easily. This move is being initiated for development of the state,” Raja said.
BJP state spokesman Altaf Thakur admitted that there will be changes in the SMC soon. “The process has already begun,” he said.
Mattu, 35, a former financial analyst, who returned from the United States barely a decade ago to join politics, is a senior leader of the Peoples Conference. He is currently outside the state for treatment. However, on his twitter handle, he said Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Conference is ready to prove majority whenever required.
His political advisor, Sheikh Firdous, equated the BJP’s plan as day dreaming by its leadership. “How can the BJP bring a no confidence motion, when the party only has four elected corporators in the SMC,” Firdous said.
He said the Peoples’ Conference has 19 members, followed by the Congress with 17 corporators. “As many as 11 independents joined the NC and many are with the PDP. The BJP has only four corporators how they can bring the no confidence motion against the mayor and his deputy,” Firdous said.
He said since August 5, mayor Junaid Azim Mattu and deputy mayor Shiekh Imran have been under detention. “He (Mattu) has gone outside the state for treatment. In his tenure, every corporator has done work of around Rs 25 lakh in his ward. This is more than what the corporation could have done in Jammu where it is under the BJP’s control,” he said.
Congress corporator Bashaarat Bin Qadir said the Congress is the largest party in SMC with 17 corporators. “This is not the right time to bring this no confidence motion as all the mainstream leaders are under detention. Every party can think of getting control over the SMC, but BJP has only four members, how can they do it,” he said.
The term of mayor and deputy mayor is 30 months and both the office bearers have to seek fresh mandate from the corporators, for which they get more than 18 months. Interestingly, Mattu had secured 40 votes to win the elections in 2018 and BJP corporators had supported him then. However, the party’s stand against revocation of Article 370 could be trigger for this attempt by the BJP.