Srinagar, July 11: Stage is set for the high-voltage drama-filled election that will decide the fate of Mayor of Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) on July 14 with two major political parties National Conference and Congress planning to play anti-BJP card again.
What remains to be seen is in the direct contest between former SMC Mayor Junaid Matoo and former deputy mayor Sheikh Imran, who are in the fray, and would get support from NC and Congress.
Reliable sources told news agency Kashmir Indepth News Service (KINS) that both Matoo and Imran have held a series of meetings with the leaders and corporators of NC and Congress in the past few days assuring them that they have no connections with the BJP.
However sources said that, NC and Congress spying on both Matoo and Imran to find out who has BJP connections and if it is proved strategy would be adopted accordingly.
Mayor elections are slated for July 14 at Banquet Hall Srinagar. Earlier, four NC corporates had voted against Matoo ensuring his ouster. They were later suspended from the party for going against the whip.
Talking to KINS, NC spokesman Imran Nabi Dar said that they have asked their corporators to follow “party directions.”
However, a senior NC leader said that they can’t issue a whip to the corporators as they contested polls as independent candidates. “It was after one year of SMC elections, they joined NC. But yes, there are certain directions to them which they have to follow,” he said.
Similarly J&K Congress chief G A Mir said that a series of deliberations have been held by Matoo and Imran with party leadership and corporators in the past few days. “We will decide about which way we should go, tomorrow,” he told KINS.
Mir further said Congress has asked its leaders and workers to keep a close watch to see whether any of the two candidates in fray (Matoo and Imran) are in touch with BJP. “Even if we vote for a candidate tomorrow it proves out that he is with BJP, we will withdraw our vote for sure,” he said. BJP, he claimed, has tried and is trying to disturb the corporation. “They are doing it in other states as well. So we will take a step after thorough consultations tomorrow,” he said.
BJP leader, Vibodh Sharma, who is in charge of Kashmir affairs, told KINS, that the party will discuss the issue tomorrow and accordingly take a call. “We will decide on it tomorrow in a meeting,” he said.