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Kashmir: Amid COVID, SMC Corporators move no-confidence motion against Mayor

Mattu says will fight it, legally, democratically

SRINAGAR:  At a time when Kashmir is battling COVID pandemic, Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) Corporators have moved a no-confidence motion (NCM) against Mayor Junaid Azim Mattu seeking his ouster from the coveted post.

Led by former Deputy Mayor Sheikh Mohammad Imran and supported by BJP and Congress, Corporators submitted NCM in the office of Secretary SMC on Thursday claiming that the Mayor has lost the majority.

“We have received it (NCM) today. We have not gone through it since office time is over. We will open it tomorrow and decide a further course of action,” said Mohammad Akbar Sofi, officiating secretary of SMC.

This is for the second time since December that Mayor will be facing the floor test. Mayor survived NCM in December when he proved the majority on the floor of the House. However, the then deputy mayor Sheikh Mohammad Imran resigned before the vote.

Six months on, Imran has again become active and wooed the Corporators to dethrone Mattu. The BJP, Congress and some Corporators aligned to other parties are supporting the move.

“We are supporting NCM. Mayor has been discriminating in developmental works. Only Corporators loyal to him are being pandered,” said Altaf Thakur, state spokesman of BJP.

Efforts to contact Imran did not yield results as he did not respond to repeated calls and texts.

Mayor Mattu, however, said they will fight the battle democratically and legally as this is yet another litmus test for the mainstream.

“Been informed that BJP has sought a ‘Vote of No Confidence’ in the SMC against me. Those who have submitted the motion are either elected members/office bearers of BJP or unambiguously associated with BJP. This is the second such motion by BJP against me within 6 months,” he tweeted.

Mattu said this is being done amid an unprecedented pandemic. “That it is being claimed and alleged that INC and BJP are on the same page is bizarre beyond comprehension and hints at some clear illegality and foul play… We are certain of proving our majority and defeating this blatantly illegal, undemocratic maneuvering,” he said.

Earlier, Mattu said it will be a badge of honor for him if BJP, Congress and National Conference are coming together to oust him. “If @BJP4India, @INCIndia, and  @JKNC are coming together to vote me out — I wear it as a badge of honor! BJP and Congress have never allied in the country’s history – and if they want to ally now against us – I couldn’t ask for a greater validation of my dignity,” he said.

 Under fire, National Conference rubbished claims that they are supporting NCM against Mattu

“Some bizarre speculations are doing rounds on Social Media regarding @JKNC_ taking sides (in some imaginations) with BJP in SMC. NC’s support to BJP in any shape and form is unimaginable and out of question. Moreover, SMC should be busy helping people & fighting COVID….This is not the time to fight for chairs and positions. SMC should be busy fighting against COVID, not each other in the middle of this pandemic,” tweeted Aga Syed Ruhullah, chief spokesman of NC.