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Opinion

Junaid Mattu Returns as Mayor of Srinagar Municipal Corporation

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Junaid Azim Mattu became mayor of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) on Wednesday for the second time after winning the SMC mayoral election.

Mattu, 35, who was previously associated with the National Conference and the People’s Conference, won 62% of the total votes in open-ballot elections held in SMC’s corporate hall.

“Junaid Azim Mattu has been elected mayor. He got the votes of 44 out of 70 councilors, ”said SMC Secretary Akbar Lone.

Mattu tweeted about his victory, calling it an emphatic verdict. What a humiliating and emphatic verdict! We’ve hit the 2/3 majority mark! Thanks to my fellow Hon’ble Corporators and the people of Srinagar for their trust and faith again. Together we will all serve Srinagar and take it to new heights! ” he said.

The total strength of the SMC council is 74 of which four seats are vacant. Mattu defeated former Deputy Mayor Sheikh Imran while the third contestant, Aijaz Rasool from Congress, withdrew from the contest during the vote.

Imran got seven votes while 19 councilors abstained from voting. Aijaz Rasool withdrew during the session, ”Lone said. Congress had asked Rasool to stand down and issued a whip to his advisers, 16 in all, to vote for Imran.

Mattu was removed as mayor of SMC in June after he lost a no-confidence motion filed against him by some corporations.

He then claimed that the Bharatiya Janata Party and the National Conference had joined forces in Srinagar to expel him. Interestingly, he had won the 2018 elections with the support of the BJP.

Mattu, who returned from the US just a decade ago to join politics, had resigned from North Carolina only to run in the 2018 election. He later became part of the Sajjad-led People’s Conference Lone until September of this year when she parted ways with The Party.

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