Srinagar mayoral elections today

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With three candidates in the fray, election to the post of Mayor, Srinagar Municipal Corporation, shall be held on Wednesday even as 70 elected councilors shall exercise their franchise.

The voting will begin at 11am and results will be declared by noon, an official said.

The candidates in the fray are: former mayor Junaid Azim Mattu, former deputy mayor Sheikh Imran and Congress candidate Ajaz Rasool.

However, the Congress party said that its candidate has withdrawn the nomination form, the fact denied by the SMC officials.

The Congress has issued a whip to its councilors to vote in favour of Sheikh Imran. “Yes, we have issued the whip to all councilors for attending the session and voting in favour of Sheikh Imran,” said Basharat Bin Qadri, the Congress leader who was authorized by party high command to issue the whip.

“Our candidate has withdrawn the nomination,” he said while replying to a query. However, an SMC official said that Congress candidate had not withdrawn the nomination till late Tuesday evening. “But he is free to withdraw it during the session as well on Wednesday,” he said.

Imran was removed as deputy mayor after no-confidence motion was successfully proved against him on the floor in 2019. He was elected as Deputy Mayor with the support of the Congress. However, he later joined People’s Conference.

As of now, the Congress has got 16 votes in SMC general council and is expected to play a major role in giving Srinagar a new mayor.

The mayor post had fallen vacant after Mattu was removed from it on June 16 on losing no-confidence-motion moved against him by an independent councilor.

Later, the no-confidence-motion was also moved against deputy mayor Parvaiz Qari twice, which remained undecided due to lack of quorum at the SMC general council special session.

SMC Secretary Akbar Sofi said the notices of holding special session have been sent to all 70 councilors.

The SMC has strength of 74 members—70 councilors are in place, four seats are vacant. “The quorum for taking up the business of special session to elect a mayor is one third of the total strength,” said Sofi.

It is mandatory that one third of the councilors be present to make the quorum.

On 3 November, the no-confidence motion against deputy mayor, Parvaiz Qadri, remained undecided owing to the lack of quorum as only 40 councilors had remained present even as the government had amended the rule and increased number from 36 to 56 to form the quorum.