Independents sweep SMC Polls

In run-up to the counting for municipal polls, independents were thought to play a kingmaker in summer capital of Srinagar.
Independents sweep SMC Polls
Photo: Mubashir Khan/GK

In run-up to the counting for municipal polls, independents were thought to play a kingmaker in summer capital of Srinagar. That is not the case now. The independents are the kings. In absence of major political forces in electoral fray, independents swept the municipal polls in summer capital Srinagar by bagging 53 out of 74 wards. Of these, four were won by them without any contest.

Interestingly, independents were pitted against each other in most of the wards and not against BJP and Congress.

Junaid Azam Mattu, who left National Conference and contested as independent, managed to win three wards of Srinagar Municipal Corporation.

He won Solina, Rawalpora and Bud Dal wards of the city but lost Brein Nishat.

"Gratitude to the people of Rawalpora,  Solina and  Bud Dal for electing me as their representative! I remain indebted to all the voters for their confidence and faith in me! CHANGE has arrived in Srinagar and how!" Mattu tweeted after emerging victorious.

The massive victory of independents pushed Congress and BJP respectively to second and third slot in the seat tally.

According to official figures, Congress secured 16 seats of which four were won by them already without any contest.

The BJP, which was trying to make inroads in Srinagar in absence of PDP and NC, managed to win just four seats.

With independents winning majority of the seats in summer capital, next few days will be interesting to watch whether they would join hands and stake claim for the powerful position of Mayor or side with any party.

Peoples Conference chairman Sajjad Gani Lone, who is supporting Junaid Mattu, has already said that next Mayor of city will be from his party.

"All set, inshallah, to have the first mayor from PC. Expecting very good results. Time to give Srinagar what it deserves. A set of hardworking people who work there on the ground," Lone wrote on Twitter.

Meanwhile, in a shocker, wife of former MP and special invitee to Congress Working Committee Tariq Hamid Karra lost the elections on Saturday. Asifa Tariq Karra of Congress lost to independent candidate Fancy Jan by a margin of 18 votes from Lawaypora ward.

Karra was elected as member parliament from Srinagar in 2014, but he had later resigned from membership of the party as well as Lok Sabha during 2016 unrest. Later, he joined Congress.

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