SMC turns into battle ground; Mayor accuses NC’s secret alliance with BJP

Srinagar Mayor Junaid Azim Mattoo addressing a press conference in Srinagar on Tuesday. -Excelsior/Shakeel
Srinagar Mayor Junaid Azim Mattoo addressing a press conference in Srinagar on Tuesday. -Excelsior/Shakeel

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, Nov 29: The Mayor of Srinagar Junaid Azim Mattoo has levelled serious allegations against the National Conference and accused the regional party of having a secret alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The Mayor who belongs to the Apni Party led by Altaf Bukhari told in a press conference today that the NC was vacillating since it has for the first time lost control of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation.
“It happened because they boycotted it. They have been from day one tried to create differences between me and the former Deputy Mayor. We do not belong to the family of a political dynasty, so we are not attached to it for our livelihood or for merely tradition. Our stand is very clear that we have the numbers,” he said.
The fresh allegations from the Mayor come amid a war of words following which Mattu was accused of corruption. The allegations against him were, however, levelled after Mattu accused NC leaders, including former Mayor from NC Salman Sagar, of corruption.
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“The NC has stooped low and resorted to allegations against the functioning of SMC. These allegations have no connection with facts on ground, and thus vindicates the NC leadership has realised now the party is loosing foothold in Srinagar”, Mayor said.
He said being a Mayor of the city it is incumbent upon me to reach out to people and listen to their grievances. “This is a part of democracy to engage non-voters of Srinagar into democratic process. I often remain engage to meet my people and listen their grievances. However, some elements do not digest my reach out efforts and are resorted to allegations”, he said.
“Assembly elections are happening in Jammu and Kashmir and if BJP again imposes the NC on the people then we will have no option but to leave politics. We had joined politics because of our passion and not because we were born into a political dynasty,” he said.
Mattoo alleged that the NC had also been attempting to blackmail him into allowing several proposals that he claimed were “illegal”.
The BJP said yesterday they had withdrawn support to Mattoo and vowed support for the “independent” group which is likely to bring a ‘no-confidence motion against him.
Mattu also said that BJP should know there was no legislative process in supporting the chair of Mayor. “Yesterday, BJP announced it has withdrawn its support from Mayor. I want to tell them there is a contesting process for Mayor’s chair and it is not a legislative process,” he added.