Srinagar, Nov 6 (PTI) Junaid Azim Mattu, the newly-elected mayor of Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC), on Tuesday said his election was a message to those political parties which treated mainstream politics as their fiefdom.
Mattu, a former member of the National Conference (NC), resigned from the party’s primary membership in September after it decided to boycott the urban local body (ULB) polls.
He contested the SMC election as Independent from four wards and won from three of them.
“This is a historic election and a change has begun which will not remain confined to Srinagar only. This is a message to those traditional exploiters who had made mainstream politics their territorial asset,” Mattu told reporters here after he was elected as the mayor.
He alleged that while the NC and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) boycotted the ULB polls, they tried to influence the mayoral election.
“The local bodies elections was ‘haraam’ (forbidden) but mayoral election was ‘halaal’ (permissible) for them. They have been discredited and completely exposed,” he said.
Asked about Governor Satya Pal Malik favouring him as the next mayor of the SMC even before the election process had kicked off, Mattu said he contested the elections with utmost honesty.
“Governor made a remark. He thought this might happen as he has ground reports. However, we (I) have contested the elections with complete sincerity and honesty,” he said.
“If the governor, in future, says Madamji (an apparent reference to PDP president Mehbooba Mufti) or Prince (an apparent reference NC vice president Omar Abdullah) will become the chief minister, then they will be all praise for him. Just because the governor named someone outside these two dynasties, fingers are being raised,” he added.
Mattu said he would work towards making Srinagar a world-class tourist city and his priority will be to improve the quality of life and enhance the dignity of the residents.
He was announced as the mayoral candidate by Peoples Conference (PC) chairman Sajad Gani Lone hours after the election results were declared on October 20.
He was also supported by the BJP, which is an ally of the PC.
Asked about his anti-BJP rants during his time as NC spokesperson, Mattu said he will answer the question after NC vice president Omar Abdullah and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti explain their associations with the saffron party in the past.
“Omar Abdullah was external affairs minister with them (BJP) and Mehbooba Mufti was eating out of same plate with them till recently. I will answer this question after they do it,” he said.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.