SRINAGAR, Nov 27: In significant political development, the newly elected Mayor of Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) Junaid Azim Mattu is likely to join the Apni Party on Friday afternoon.
Sources told Kashmir Dispatch that His joining the Apni Party is seen as the rising popularity of Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari led Party in Jammu and Kashmir. Mattu’s joining is likely to garner significant support to the Party from the corporators of almost over 40 wards of Srinagar Municipal Corporation in Srinagar city.
Mattu joined Sajjad Lone’s People’s Conference party in 2009 and served as the Srinagar district president for the party. In 2013, he switched to the National Conference party and served as its spokesman.
He switched back to the People’s Conference before contesting the Srinagar municipal corporation elections in 2018. Mattu was elected as the Mayor of Srinagar on 6 November 2018 with 40 votes from Corporators, beating his closest rival of the Indian National Congress with 26 votes.
In June 2020, Mattu was removed as the SMC mayor after he lost a no-confidence motion moved against him in the city body. “The vote of ‘No Confidence Motion’ against me, and the @JKPC_ (Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference) has been passed in the SMC with 42 votes out of 70. The @BJP4India, @JKNC_ (Jammu and Kashmir National Conference) and some independents have polled against the @JKPC_ and @INCIndia abstaining whip where 28 Corporators abstained,” Mattu said in a series of tweets that day.
Mattu, who survived a no-confidence motion in the past also, claimed the BJP and the National Conference have joined hands in Srinagar.
On November 25, 2020 Mattu returned as the mayor of the SMC less than six months after he was ousted from the office through a no-confidence motion.
He defeated Sheikh Imran, a former deputy mayor who was removed from office last year through a no-confidence motion. Imran also did not represent any party in the mayoral polls.
“(Junaid Azim) Mattu got 44 votes while Imran got seven. Nineteen corporators abstained from voting,” SMC Commissioner Gazanfar Ali announced on November 25.