Dismisses possibility of taking him back
Clearing the air, the National Conference (NC) General Secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar dismissed rumours that the former NC spokesperson Junaid Azim Mattu resigned from the party to contest as a “proxy candidate” in the ongoing municipal elections with an eye to take over as a mayor of the Srinagar city.
Talking to Rising Kashmir, Sagar said that Mattu left the party on his own and didn’t consult the leadership before taking the decision.
When asked whether Mattu expressed his resentment against the party’s decision to boycott the municipal elections citing the row over Article 35A, Sagar said that he (Mattu) never raised this issue with the party and without informing anyone made his resignation public on social media.
On 25 September, Mattu, who was considered a close aide of NC Vice-President Omar Abdullah, took to micro-blogging site Twitter to make his resignation public.
“Based on my humble disagreement with the party’s decision to boycott the upcoming ULB and Panchayat Polls, I have just sent my resignation from the party to the JKNC General Secretary.”
“I strongly believe that leaving our grassroots democratic institutions open to misrepresentation would inflict serious harm on the State and also wreak havoc with our social fabric and cultural legacy,” Mattu wrote on Twitter.
Sagar said after putting his disagreements with the party in the public domain, it made their job easy to accept Mattu’s resignation without making much fuss about it.
“See, this party doesn’t belong to an ideology of one person. One person cannot overrule the unanimous decision of the party. So, it was better for him to part ways,” Sagar said.
Dismissing the rumours that Mattu is NC’s proxy candidate, Sagar said there is no way that after boycotting the elections to safeguard the Article 35A, the party will field any proxy candidates in the state.
NC has boycotted the municipal elections over Article 35A that has been challenged in the Supreme Court. The core group of the NC unanimously decided that they will not participate in the local body and panchayat elections in the state unless the Centre takes effective steps for protection of the Article 35-A.
Meanwhile, Sagar also dismissed any possibility of taking Mattu back into the party folds in case he desires so, sooner or later.
When asked whether Mattu was always disliked by the senior leaders in the party but was consistently getting the backing of NC Vice -President Omar Abdullah, Sagar said, “As along he was getting support from the leadership everybody was behind him.”
Incidentally, Governor Satya Pal Malik in an interview with a national channel on Monday without naming Mattu said, “A foreign educated person is becoming Srinagar mayor”.