Money Game: SMC Drama Continues

Kashmir News Trust #KNT

The chair of the Mayor in Srinagar Municipal Corporation is in the eye of a storm ever since the ‘infamous’ elections for the Corporation took place in Kashmir capital Srinagar.

Municipal corporations in both Jammu and Srinagar had ceased to exist since the elections for these bodies were not been held for almost a decade.
Last time it was in 2004 that elections were held for Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) and Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC).

These disempowered Corporations especially in Srinagar have now become a headache for the people after its revival. Both the incumbent Mayor and Deputy Mayor are at loggerheads.

Elections for the corporation were held at a time when there was a disturbance. Participation in these elections was minimal.

Junaid Azim Mattu who was elected as an independent candidate from Hazratbal, Rawalpora and Solina became the Mayor while the Deputy Mayorship fell in the lap of Sheikh Imran.

Some lesser-known faces became Corporators and even today they boast of their achievements. The irony is that these lesser-known Corporators are ignanimous to the people of their constituencies.

What’s wrong with the Srinagar Municipal Corporation is a million-dollar question that we posed to a number of people including the incumbent Corporators.

“It’s a money and power game and nothing else was the reply of the people.

‘I am a Corporator and like me, another person who used to live in a closed house without any premises is also a Corporator. Go and see his mansion this time, you will be shocked. Where from he got this money,” questioned a Corporator.

The Corporator added that sometimes Junaid and Sheikh Imran were one and later on they accused and abused each other and now again they are one.

“Such kind of situation arises out of compulsions. I won’t say anything except that anti-graft agencies should play its role and expose the corruption,” the Corporator told news agency Kashmir News Trust.

Sheikh Imran was ousted because he talked too much. “When he talked about corruption and took a firm stand against Junaid Azim Mattu he was thrown out,” another Corporator said adding that it is a money game and nothing else.

“Do you think these Corporators who held press conferences and talked about corruption are sincere to people, you are mistaken. Everyone is after power and by hook or crook they want to get it.”

One of the Corporators said that it was Srinagar Mayor who supported Deputy Mayor Parvaiz Qadri and it was he who supported BJP member Altaf Raja. “As I said it is a money game and everyone wants to earn by hook or crook, so anything is expected.”

The former Deputy Mayor Sheikh Imran told KNT that NC is power-hungry. “Salman Sagar says he is alone but at the same time enjoying parties with opponents. This is disgusting and there is no decency.”

BJP’s Nazir Gilkar addressed multiple press conferences levelling allegations against the incumbent Mayor. The Mayor also put forth his point of view and cleared the air.

Whatever these Corporators are doing now and have done in the past has badly hit the work culture in Srinagar Municipal Corporation where a man like Commissioner also feels helpless. [KNT]



Neyaz Elahi

Neyaz Elahi, who switched from Electronic to Print Media is a Kashmir based Accredited Journalist who has written extensively on Kashmir for local, national and international web portals. He is currently associated with Srinagar based News Agency Kashmir News Trust (KNT).

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