High J&K Voter Turnout An Important Development: Mukherjee

16 December 2008

Srinagar: External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee today said the high voter turnout in the first five phases of the seven-stage Jammu and Kashmir assembly election was a significant development reflecting people's faith in democracy. 'One electoral exercise that draws maximum attention not only in the country but also in large parts of the world is the Jammu and Kashmir election. 'To my mind, it is an important development that voters have come out in large numbers to exercise their franchise' in the first five rounds, Mukherjee told reporters here. The turnout was significantly higher compared to previous elections, the Congress veteran said adding this reflected people's faith in democracy. Congratulating the people of the state for participating in large numbers in the democratic exercise, he said he was hopeful of similar turnouts in the last two phases slated for December 17 and 24. To a question, Mukherjee said he could not predict which party would come to power in the state. He lauded the achievements of the previous Congress-PDP government in the state saying it did a commendable job during its six-year tenure. It not only build infrastucture but also took historic steps which included reopening of the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road, Mukherjee said. He said four of the five working groups set up on Jammu and Kashmir by the Centre had submitted their recommendations which were in various stages of implementation. Recommendations of the fifth group were awaited, the External Affairs Minister said.