Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], November 27 (ANI): Junaid Azim Mattu, who returned as mayor of Srinagar in the recently concluded civic body election, joined Altaf Bukhari-led Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party on Friday.
While talking about the reason to join the party, Mattu said, "Apni Party has emerged at very critical juncture for Jammu and Kashmir as a new political party which believes in the politics of pragmatism which is politics of delivery and has emerged as an alternative to the politics of exploitation. The party has come as a fresh breath of air."
"This was the most transparent election of Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) with the open ballot, we won the election by 2/3 majority, which is 44 votes.
"Apni Party has pinned many hopes on the calibre of this young man. His (Matto) priority would be first how we control this pandemic and will leave no stone unturned. As all of you know Srinagar municipal corporation went into turmoil. I want to assure you that we will try to come to your expectations in terms of civic facilities. Srinagar becomes one of the world-class cities. I want to assure citizens of Srinagar that there would be zero tolerance to corruption. There will be no discrimination in development," said Apni Party chief Altaf Bukhari.
In June this year, Mattu was ousted from the office through a no-confidence motion.
Mattu was initially associated with National Conference and had resigned from NC to contest the urban local body polls in Jammu and Kashmir in 2018.
The NC and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) boycotted the election over the issue of Article 35-A, which accord special powers to the state legislature with regard to permanent residents of the state.
Matto later joined Sajjad Lone led people's conference and was elected Mayor of the SMC. Lone was a minister in the PDP-Bharatiya Janata Party coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir from the BJP quota.
Meanwhile, while replying on a question over District Development Council (DDC) election, Altaf Bukhari said, "There are 24 constituencies from Kashmir and 18 from Jammu. We are directly fighting over 16 and backing eight independent candidates here. While in Jammu we are directly fighting over 12 seats and backing one independent candidate.
DDC elections along with by-polls to panchayats and urban local bodies are scheduled to take place in eight phases in the Union Territory between November 28 and December 19. Counting will take place on December 22.
It has been almost eight months since former minister of Jammu and Kashmir Altaf Bukhari launched his own party. (ANI)