New Delhi, Dec 21 (ANI): Home Minister P. Chidamabaram today said that the 58 per cent overall turnout in the Jharkhand assembly elections should be seen as a stinging rejection of the Maoists.
In a statement issued here, Chidamabaram said: " I am happy to note that the fifth and the last phase witnessed a turnout of 58.12 per cent. The average for all the phases is 58 per cent, a number that can truly make the people of Jharkhand proud. In my view, this is a stinging rejection of the CPI (Maoist) and other militants who attempted to terrorize the people of Jharkhand into boycotting the elections."
He also congratulated the electorate of Jharkhand for turning out in large numbers and exercising their franchise to elect candidates of their own choice.
The statement further said that it is our duty to remember the six jawans of the Central para-military forces, five policemen of the Jharkhand police and one from Bihar police who lost their lives during the period of elections.
"The security forces faced innumerable challenges. They showed exemplary bravery against the determined attempt of the naxalites to disrupt the elections," he said. We share the grief of their families and offer them our sincere condolences. I have instructed the authorities concerned to ensure that the compensation due to the deceased policemen is paid expeditiously and a report of compliance submitted by January 15, 2010." he added.
He also said that the security forces continue to be stationed in Jharkhand in order to ensure that law and order is maintained on counting day and on the following days.
In the first phase of polling held on November 25, 53.1 per cent of the voters had cast their votes, followed by 58.8 per cent voting in the second phase on December 2 and 57.2 per cent in the third phase on December 7. Over 50 per cent turnout in fourth phase of polling.
Counting of votes will be held on December 23. (ANI)