J K News Today Commentary
Junaid Mattu , a youth leader who had quit premier Kashmiri party National Conference to contest the Municipal Polls in Jammu and Kashmir, was Tuesday elected as new Mayor of Srinagar Municipal Corporation. It is for the first time in the history of the Municipal Polls in Kashmir that the leader who was elected as an independent candidate backed by regional group People’s Conference , a pronounced ally of BJP the party that rules India .
The victory of Mattu who went against the National Conference’s decision to boycott the polls and contested as an independent signals a dramatic change in the mood of the people, who are fed up with the traditional political groups in Kashmir . He called his election as Mayor to the newly constituted Srinagar Municipal Corporation as harbinger of a “ change in Kashmir’s politics.”
Mattu , a USA educated Kashmiri had quit his job in America and plunged into politics of Kashmir – first he was associated with People’s Conference of Sajjad Gani Lone who has emerged as a new star on the State politics because of his bold utterances on the issues concerning Kashmir, about which other leaders are hesitant to talk about. Later he joined National Conference and became a spokesman of the party . He was considered very close to former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. However, he parted the ways with the party and his leader in NC as he stood for the liberal thought in politics of Kashmir ad he articulated the same without any inhibition ..
There was virtually no contest for him during the Mayor’s election as Congress candidate was no match to him in charisma or support . . His Congress rival polled only 26 votes as against 40 of Mattu.
Kashmir observers rate it as a big win for Junaid Mattu and what he represents , and a big snub to Congress that had made it a straight contest with the help of some independents.