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Srinagar Mayor Junaid Mattu joins Apni Party

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Srinagar: Srinagar Mayor Junaid Azim Mattu on Friday joined the Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) here, days after winning the top post of the city’s civic body.

Mattu joined the JKAP — led by former finance minister Altaf Bukhair — at the party’s head office in the Lal Chowk area of the city here, a party leader said.

The Mayor of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) was welcomed into the party fold by Bukhari, it said.

Mattu on Wednesday returned as Mayor of the SMC less than six months after he was ousted from the office in a no-confidence motion.

He defeated Sheikh Imran — a former deputy mayor who was removed from the office last year through a no-confidence motion.

Mattu got 44 votes while Imran got seven. As many as 19 corporators abstained from voting.

Mattu, who was last associated with Sajad Gani Lone’s People’s Conference, was removed from office as Mayor in June this year in a no-confidence motion.

His ascent to the Mayoral post in 2018 was surrounded by controversy as then governor of erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir State S P Malik had predicted that he will be the next mayor of the city, weeks before the first vote had been cast.

The remarks of the governor had raised question marks about the elections as the names of all contesting candidates were kept secret — even from their electorate — in view of security threat perceptions.

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