Kashmir Indepth

2019 Assembly polls: Will Mayor’s feat help BJP, PC open its account in Srinagar?


Srinagar, Nov 9: With BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav chipping in to take stock of the post-ULB poll activities that saw Junaid Matoo winning the Mayor’s berth with active support of BJP, and the Peoples Conference led by Sajad Lone, what remains to be seen is that whether BJP has succeeded in making its inroads into Kashmir.
In 2014 polls, the BJP failed to even win at least a single seat but staking claim on the Mayor’s seat in the summer capital Srinagar has fore sure raised the morale of the BJP and of course PC’s cadre to gear up for the upcoming major battle—2019 assembly polls.
Amid much browbeating by the militant organizations that no one should contest the ULB polls in Kashmir, followed by the Joint Resistance Leadership’s boycott call, Kashmir witnessed thin polling, rather almost zero polling, which ultimately paved way for the BJP and PC to make solid inroads given the fact two major parties, National Conference and PDP stayed away from the poll process.
Now in total control on the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) with Junaid Matoo as a Mayor, BJP and PC, are all set to make as much as possible gains for representing the Srinagar through Matoo, who deserted his parent party NC after developing differences for not fighting the ULB polls.
“My job is to fight for the rights of people of Srinagar as a Mayor. People need development and clean city and I will work for them by taking them along,” Matoo said. He said that Srinagar lags behind on developmental front and it’s high time the city utilises the funds that otherwise were getting lapsed.
Matoo bagged 40 seats, Congress 26 and four votes were considered as invalid in the recently held elections for the Mayor. Matoo was backed by the BJP and PC councilors, who won the ULB polls even though with a lesser margin. Matoo’s victory signifies that Srinagar is going in a different direction. Taking part in the celebrations, BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav arrived in Srinagar to congratulate Matoo, PC chief Sajad and the PDP’s rebel candidate Imran Ansari, with whose support Matoo bagged Zadibal seat in downtown.
Political observers believe that taking reigns of SMC is a major development and can further help BJP in opening its account in the 2019 assembly polls. “BJP may open its account from downtown, the volatile area known for street protests and housing the pro-freedom sentiment,” they said.

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