SRI NAGAR: Political parties in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) are crying foul after Governor Satya Pal Malik on Wednesday said a “foreign educated” person would be the next mayor of Srinagar although only one phase of the 4-phase elections for the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) in the state has finished.
“Both the parties (the National Conference and the People’s Democratic Party) are regretting that they are not participating in the civic polls. Because in Srinagar they are getting a mayor who is foreign educated. He is a young leader and if he emerges, this will send jitters through these parties,” Malik on Wednesday said in the interview to a TV channel.
Although Malik did not name the person, political observers say he could be speaking about former NC spokesman Junaid Mattu, who quit the party to contest the ULB polls. Mattu, who was educated abroad, is close to separatist-turned-mainstream politician Sajjad Gani Lone, who is an ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Valley and whose party, the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference, is contesting the ULB polls.
Reacting to Malik’s comments, the National Conference (NC) and the Congress questioned his “impartiality”.“The governor is belittling the status of his office. He has unambiguously hinted towards a particular person for the post of mayor of Srinagar,” NC chief spokesman and MLA of Budgam, Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi said.State Congress vice president Ghulam Monga alleged that the ULB elections have lost their credibility.