SRINAGAR: The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are trying to lure winning independent candidates for the mayor's post in a bid to wrest control of the Srinagar municipality in Jammu and Kashmir.
In the recently held Urban Local Bodies (ULB) polls, Congress won 16 and BJP four out of the 74 wards of Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC).
The independents emerged as strong force by winning 53 seats.
Since the counting of votes for the ULBs on October 20, the Congress and BJP have been in talks with the winning independents and are attempting to lure them to their fold. However, even after eleven days of negotiations, neither the Congress nor the BJP have been able to solicit the support of independents to stake a claim for the mayor's post in Srinagar.
Among the winning independents in the ULB polls is Junaid Mattu, former National Conference spokesman who quit the party to enter the fray.
Junaid, who enjoys the support of separatist-turned-mainstream politician Sajjad Gani Lone's Peoples Conference, is seen as a frontrunner for the mayor's post.