STATE TIMES NEWS Srinagar: Authorities in Jammu and Kashmir have extended the deadline for holding the election to the post of the Mayor of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation by two months in the wake of fresh restrictions announced in the city due to the sudden surge in coronavirus cases, officials said on Wednesday. In an order issued by the Principal Secretary Housing and Urban Development Department, the deadline to complete the election for the Mayor’s post has been extended by three months from the date it fell vacant. Junaid Azim Mattu was removed as Mayor of the SMC on 16 June after a no confidence motion against him was passed by the general council of the corporation. According to the rules, the election has to be held within one month of the post falling vacant. The general council meeting had been convened on July 14 for holding the elections but was later deferred by two days. However, the fresh order has extended the deadline for holding the election up to September 15 as many of the corporators, who form the electorate, reside in the containment zones announced by the district administration on Sunday. There has been a sudden surge in COVID-19 positive cases in Srinagar over the past two weeks, prompting the administration to declare 88 containment zones in the city. Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress (JKPCC) welcomed the decision to defer the Mayor election for three months. Commenting on the deferment of Mayor Elections in Srinagar Municipal Corporation, the JKPCC General Secretary Surinder Singh Channi welcomed the decision and said that even the current situation did not allow to hold the elections, for the fact, situation is extremely volatile due to the spread of COVID 19 in Kashmir. He said the Pandemic has entirely engulfed the Kashmir valley, holding elections under the given circumstances was not advisable, he said. He said many corporators had also come in contact with COVID positive in Bandipora thereby forcing top brass of BJP to go for self-quarantine, Channi said. PCC General Secretary emphasized that all those, who had come in Contact with Covid positive in Bandipora should be quarantined to ensure that no other person catches the infection, he added.
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