Matoo re-elected as SMC Mayor

Newly elected Mayor Junaid Matoo shows a victory sign in Srinagar on Wednesday. —Excelsior/Shakeel
Newly elected Mayor Junaid Matoo shows a victory sign in Srinagar on Wednesday. —Excelsior/Shakeel

Excelsior Correspondent

Srinagar, Nov 25: The former Mayor of Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC), Junaid Azim Matoo, was today re-elected Mayor by defeating his rival former Deputy Mayor, Sheikh Imran.
Matoo got 44 votes while Imran managed to get only 7 votes out of 51. On June 15, he was removed as Mayor of Srinagar after he lost no-confidence motion that was moved against him.
Addressing a press conference after winning the election that was held this morning at SMC, Matoo said: “A few months ago, a no-confidence motion was brought in against me, which then stood the ground as I could not get the confidence of the Corporators, and now after six months, the elections for the Mayor were held”. Click here to watch video
He said that he has come stronger as he had secured only 40 votes when he was elected Mayor first time and now he got 44. “Earlier, when I became mayor, I got 40 votes, and today have got 44. The elections were held transparently. There have been certain changes in the law, this time there was no secret ballot rather, the voting was held in an open ballot”, he said.
Matoo said that his rival Sheikh Imran and Deputy Mayor Pervaiz Qadri resorted to violence as they had no numbers but ultimately it was a strong mandate. “In the start, Sheikh Imran and Pervaiz Qadri did some hue and cry. They had 20 members only. They tried to resort to violence, they even attacked the officers and did not let the voting happen for at least 2 hours and when the voting was held, resulting in the fact that we got 44 votes out of 51 and Sheikh Imran secured 7 out of 51. It is a strong mandate in the history of SMC”, he said.
“As per them, if they are not winning, they will allege that the elections were a fraud and if they are winning, then the elections were held transparently. I am telling you that this has been the transparent election in the history of SMC”, he said
The Mayor said that his focus will be development of Srinagar. “Since I was out of power and I got a chance of reflection and tried to focus on how we can improve. There have been changes in the law and we will be focusing on how to take the developmental works ahead in the Srinagar city”, he said.
“NC had thought that it will be able to regain the power and they went to the Court and when that did not work, they resorted to violence during the election and failed there as well. This is for the first time that the NC is out of power from the City”, he added.
A Corporator alleged that he was not allowed to vote and declared absent. “We were forcibly pushed out and were declared absent. The election was held forcibly. How is the Government going to attract the youngsters towards the mainstream like this?”, he asked.
Sheikh Imran who lost the election alleged that they were dragged out and declared absent. “The notification was not even issued by the acting Mayor. After the protest, we were dragged out and after that, we were declared as absent. We have taken an oath of the Constitution of India and if we are going against it then we are going against our religion”, he said.
“We wanted a level playfield, and the elections were to be held transparently. After doing this, does this remain an election or selection? If this is going to be the order of the day, then kindly let us know and we will not fight the elections at all. We demand a free and fair election. We never talked against our nation, we did not even talk against the tricolour, we have accepted it”, he said.
Imran alleged rigging in the elections. “Are they going to repeat what happened in 1987? We were not militants that we were dragged out like this? Nothing was done, they did not let us know about the procedure, nor was the whip defined”, he said.
“We will go to the Election Commissioner, even after that we cannot do anything, we can just protest. They did what they had to do”, he said.