NC seeks deferment of SMC Mayor election

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Srinagar, Nov 20 (PTI) The NC on Friday filed a petition before the chief electoral officer (CEO) of Jammu and Kashmir seeking deferment of the election for the Mayor of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC).

Challenging the notification for holding the election, the National Conference termed it as a brazen violation of the model code of conduct as the by-elections to the four vacant seats of the corporation were about to commence.

The petition was filed by NC candidates Nuzhat Ara and Ali Muhammad Magray, who are contesting the by-election which will be conducted from November 28 along with the District Development Council (DC) polls.

In a written complaint to the CEO, and district electoral officer, Srinagar, the duo said that holding of a meeting of corporators for the purpose of electing the mayor, while the by-elections were about to commence, was a manifest violation of the model code of conduct.

The applicants brought to the notice of the officials that similar provisions were also in vogue elsewhere in the country and it was clear that while the election for the council or urban local body are announced and the model code of conduct was in force, an embargo was placed on any meeting of the council or urban local body except for the meeting held for relief measures, the party said.

The election to elect the mayor, if not deferred, would unfairly prejudice the contesting candidates, the petition said.

Candidates seen in close proximity to the winning mayoral nominee would get unfair advantage thereby altering the level playing field as available to those contesting the election, the complaint reads.

They urged the concerned officials to take action including deferment of the election.

“As a failure to pass appropriate directions deferring the impugned elections within a period of 24 hours from the date of receipt of this complaint would compel the claimants to take to appropriate legal remedy as may be available,” the complaint read. The election was necessitated in the wake of the removal of Junaid Azim Mattu as the Mayor of the city after the BJP and other corporators passed a no-confidence motion against him. PTI SSB RHL