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Posted at: Nov 7, 2018, 1:08 AM; last updated: Nov 7, 2018, 1:08 AM (IST)

Junaid Mattu elected mayor

Backed by BJP and Lone, beats Congress candidate by 14 votes
Junaid Mattu elected mayor
Junaid Azim Mattu shows a victory sign after being elected the Mayor of Srinagar Municipal Corporation on Tuesday. Tribune Photo: Amin War

Tribune News Service

Srinagar, November 6

The US-educated Junaid Azim Mattu, 33, who contested as an Independent after resigning from the National Conference, was elected as mayor of Srinagar city on Tuesday. He had the backing of the BJP and Sajad Lone-led People’s Conference.

Srinagar Municipality Corporation (SMC) Commissioner Peer Hafizullah said Mattu won 40 votes to beat Ghulam Rasool Hajam, the Congress candidate for mayor’s post who won 26 votes.

Mattu’s mayoral victory, however, comes against the backdrop of a controversial statement by Governor Satya Pal Malik, who had remarked during election that the city’s next mayor would be “a foreign-educated young person”.

Mattu was projected as the mayoral candidate by the People’s Conference chairman just hours after the election results were declared on October 20 in which 53 of the 74 seats were won by Independent candidates. Sixteen seats were won by the Congress and four by the BJP.

“I promise to work with diligence and all my heart along with all corporators to evolve solutions to the many problems the city is faced with,” Mattu said after being elected.

The election to the SMC was held in four phases last month.

Mattu, who studied at Bishop Cotton School, Shimla, and graduated from Michigan State University in 2009, was formerly associated with the National Conference – which had boycotted the polls. He quit the party to contest the urban local bodies election.

He contested the election from four wards of Rawalpora, Solina, Bod Dal and Brien and was elected from three of them.

Immediately after his victory, Mattu received congratulatory messages from three significant power centres – BJP, Sajad Lone and Imran Ansari, a former minister who rebelled against his party PDP.

Ram Madhav, general secretary of the BJP, issued a congratulatory tweet for Mattu.

“He polled against the combined candidate of the PDP, NC and Congress by 40 votes to 26 votes,” the BJP leader said.

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