In a major jolt to the National Conference (NC), party’s spokesman Junaid Azim Mattu resigned on Tuesday citing disagreement with party chief Farooq Abdullah’s decision to boycott the upcoming local body polls in Jammu and Kashmir.

Mattu, who has been a confidant of both Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah, announced his resignation and his decision to contest the civic polls from Srinagar in a series of tweets.

“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,” Mattu wrote on Twitter.

He said that leaving the grassroots democratic institutions “open to misrepresentation” would inflict serious harm on the state, and also wreak havoc with the social fabric and cultural legacy.

“I will announce my candidature for the ULB elections from Srinagar tomorrow Insha Allah and I remain committed to serving my people and helping the city I grew up in meet the challenges it’s faced with. I won’t be addressing the media or taking any questions today,” he said.

 

 

Meanwhile, the NC in a tweet announced the acceptance of Mattu’s resignation from the basic membership of the party.

In a jibe at the NC on the issue of Mattu’s resignation, a former minister of PDP, Naeem Akhtar, tweeted; “Just Baked!!! A new young articulate Mayor for Srinagar”.

Political significance is being attached to Mattu’s resignation from the NC during the crucial grassroots elections. Mattu started his political career with People’s Conference, led by Separatist turned politician Sajjad Gani Lone who had abandoned separatist politics to follow mainstream in 2009. Mattu parted ways with Lone’s party in 2013 to join the NC.

Lone has now become the blue-eyed boy of the BJP in Kashmir politics and was a minister in the Mehbooba Mufti’s government.

The BJP leadership recently held a series of meetings with Lone, whom it had reportedly tasked to break MLAs from other parties to form the new government after the fall of the Mehbooba dispensation following withdrawal of support by the BJP.