Matoo loses SMC Mayorship

Kashmir Magazine

Junaid Azim Mattu was removed as the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) Mayor after he lost a no-confidence motion moved against him by an independent corporator.

Matoo took to Twitter to announce his defeat.

“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.

“I respect the verdict of the Corporation,” he said.

Mattu who had survived a no-confidence motion in the past, claimed the BJP and the National Conference have joined hands in Srinagar.

“The seemingly unthinkable seems to have happened as @JKNC_ and @BJP4India have come together in Srinagar. But more on that later,” he said.

“Time to spend some time with my family after nearly four months of our war against #COVID19,” he added.

Mattu said he is taking the verdict with humility and his chin up.

“For those who know me – they would know that I take this verdict with humility and my chin up! I am committed to serving the people of Srinagar to the best of my abilities now and also in the future,” he said.

KNS- sister concern of Kashmir Magazine has reported series of developments aimed at removal of Matoo and were backed former Deputy Mayor Sheikh During past few days Imran presided over the meetings of Coporators at his hotel who were eager to oust Matoo from post of Mayor.

Interestingly Congress which has 17 corporators and BJP has issued a whip asking its members not to take part in the no-confidence proceedings.
The plan to oust Mayor from Mayor post was hatched after 54 corporators of Srinagar Muncipal Corporation had a meetiing called by ex Deputy Mayor Sheikh Imran in his hotel- Grand Palace.
" The late night meeting lasted for four hours and discussed various issues regarding the functioning of SMC under Matoo as Mayor," sources told KNS.
Sources added that it was decided in the meeting to move a no- confidence motion to SMC Commissioner against the Mayor.
The meeting was attended by coporators irrespective of their party affiliations. Interestingly the corporators of BJP and Congress were on same page to challenge the Mayor in the meeting.
Sources also told KNS that the disgruntled coporators have decided to support former Deputy Mayor Sheikh Imran for Mayor's post after removing Matoo from Mayor post.
With 17 corporators , congress party is also eyeing the top post and can prove important for any making or breaking of any coalition in the SMC.
The Mayor had once faced no confidence motion but he managed to sail through with support of majority of the Corporators.
It is important to mention that Imran was shown the door as Deputy Mayor when he was under police custody post abrogation of special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
A day after meeting of Coporators at Imran's hotel , Fourty- three corporators submitted a no- confidence motion against the incumbent SMC Mayor Junaid Azim Matoo to Commissioner.
According to sources, 43 corporators today straight away went to SMC complex after staying in hotel Grand Mahal Shalimar of former Deputy Mayor Sheikh Imran.
As repoeted earlier by KNS, the corporators submitted the no- confidence motion to SMC Commissioner against the Mayor and demanded a floor test.

Soon after corporators meet the SMC Commissioner, Srinagar Mayor Junaid Matoo also met him and ruled out any another floor test within six months, sources told KNS.

He argued that it is against the law to hold floor test before six months.

Sources also revealed that former deputy Mayor Sheikh Imran also called on SMC Commissioner and supported the demand of coporators.
Sources said the coporators have decided to support former Deputy Mayor Sheikh Imran for Mayor's post.

It is important to mention that Imran was shown the door as Deputy Mayor when he was under police custody post abrogation of special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

SMC Commissioner Gazanafar Ali confirmed the development and said his office examined the representaions from both parties and took the view according to the law.

The political tussle on the post of SMC Mayor office has marred the developmental works in Srinagar.
Mayor Matoo took to Twitter against the development and wrote: This is the second such attempt in 6 months and we are certain of proving our majority and defeating this blatantly illegal, undemocratic maneuvering."

He added "That this is being done in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic is another travesty. 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. "

Matoo in a tweet alleged that "there are also apprehensions of forged signatures on affidavits as well as attempts to break the law - since the 6 month bar since the last floor test hasn’t expired yet. This is a repeat of what was attempted in SMC on 26th December, 2019. "

Reacting to the reports further, he sakd, "The BJP+ group has claimed they have support from @INCIndia and @JKNC_ - which both parties have clearly, officially and unambiguously denied. The incumbent Dy. Mayor @Parvaiz_Qadri has also denied these claims".

He also accused the BJP of seeking no confidence motion against him, he tweeted , "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."

In reaction to barrage of tweets from Mayor Matoo, district spokesperson BJP Advocate Tanveer bhat in a statement said Srinagar Muncipal corporators moved a no confidence motion against mayor junaid Azim mattu to unseat him from Mayor's post.

"Mayor is alledging that it is BJP who is lobbying with other corporators to dislodge him from his post. District president srinagar BJP Ashok bhat while refuting all his claims said that it is interesting to see the reaction from Mayor it only shows his distressed state. He in the back of mind knows that situation is so bad as to be impossible to deal with. Bhat also said that to intiate no confidence motion is purely an intra departmental matter . If the corporators have chosen to move on no-confidence motion, there might be something wrong with him. It is time for him to introspect & not to cast any asperations without any proof. "

Bhat in the statement added said, "Mayor junaid azim mattu is questioning the process & timing of no confidence motion, we want to tell Mayor that if his selection was democatic how come he alledges his removal aa un - democratic one. it is a prerogative of corporators who have a power to select him and if he doesn't delivers they can dethrown him also. "

Bhat said BJP is committed to crush corruption in j&k and will support every individual who wants to eradicate the menance of corruption from erstwhile state.

"If new faces are trying to come up and are spearheading ll the movement against corruption & scams BJP will always stand by their side," he said.

Finally Srinagar Muncipal Corporation decided to conduct the floor test for the post of Mayor in some days.
Sources told KNS that Srinagar Muncipal Corporation has decided to conduct the floor test after they found that no floor test was conducted in last six months.
" The claims of Junaid Matoo that floor test would has been conducted already and has yet to complete six months which is mandatory as per law is baseless," a top SMC official told KNS.
" There is no such record of floor test as claimed by Mayor," he said.
Meanwhile after an independent corporator moved a petition before SMC seeking floor test of Mayor, the SMC authorities have decided to conduct the floor test within some days.
The SMC Commissioner has written to Deputy Commissioner Srinagar for allowing the assembly of corporator for floor test.
When KNS contacted SMC Commissioner Gazanafar Ali, he confirmed that they have written to DC Srinagar and would go for floor test as soon as permission is granted for allowing assembly of corporators.
The SMC Commissioner had written to Deputy Commissioner Srinagar on Saturday for allowing the assembly of corporator for floor test.