Guwahati/ Imphal, May 2 (ANI): Defying militants' threat against participation in the ongoing parliamentary elections, residents in Assam and Manipur demonstrated their faith in the democratic set-up of governance.
In Assam, the voter turnout was 62 %. This was a considerable increase of 16.2 per cent over the last general elections in 2004.
The huge voter turnout in the 15th Lok Sabha Elections indicated people's faith in democratic institutions and rejection of militancy.
People came out in large numbers to exercise their franchise, despite militant threats. Voters made a beeline outside to exercise their franchise.
Be it men or women, young or the elderly, all voted with a hope for a better future.
"This says clearly that people have complete faith in the Indian Democratic system and they like to identify themselves as Indians. We don't want a sovereign Assam, we have faith in the Indian democracy and we are making good progress," said Priyanka Devi, local resident of Assam.
"I believe that the mass participation of the people in the election has sent a message to the insurgent groups that their ideology has failed. They had earlier appealed for a boycott of voting but the people have sent a message that the ideologies of the militants are not good for them. The people have shown faith in the democratic system," said Dhruva Das, local resident.
The efforts made by the government and the security agencies were reflected in the increase in the voting figures.
The increased participation of the people in the electoral process is a clear indication of the fact that that they want normalcy, peace and development in the state.
"It is a clear indication that the people of Assam have complete faith in the democratic process. The insurgent groups who are demanding for sovereignty they should learn a lesson from this election process," said Tarun Gogoi, Chief Minister of Assam
In Manipur too people displayed their faith in democracy and against militancy.
Rejecting the poll boycott call by militant groups, people turned up at polling booths.
A 17-hour bandh called by the Joint Action Committee against killing of one sub-divisional officer and two others coincided with the polling. However, it failed to affect the voter turnout.
"Even if the militants boycotted the elections, as the government is ruling the state the boycott was not a success. And since the MPs are elected once in five years, we did not want to waste our vote," said S. Indra Singh, local resident of Manipur.
"According to me, the citizens want peace and harmony in the state so they've cast their vote," said Kh. Achou Singh, another local resident in Manipur.
Large participation of the voters in two major States of the northeast region of the country has demonstrated that people want peace. .
They wish to live under a democratic set up under a people's government which can protect the residents from militancy and pay attention to development and resolve issues (ANI)