New Delhi: Chief of Army Staff General Dalbir Singh on Tuesday praised the d security forces operating in Jammu and Kashmir for ensuring a successful election in the state. He also hailed the high voter turnout.
"Assembly elections were conducted in Jammu and Kashmir very successfully. In fact, in the last so many years, the turnout has never been so good. It was the highest, 76 percent, which was 21 percent higher than in previous years," Gen Singh said at a press conference ahead of the Army Day celebrations, which will be held on January 15.
"This has happened not just like that, it has happened because such a security situation was created to the extent that people of the area were confident to come out and vote. For that, it was the effective grid that we established. All the security forces and the army worked tirelessly, not for weeks, but months before the elections, just to ensure that we achieve a stable- secure situation to conduct the assembly elections," he added.
Gen Singh further said the active borders in Jammu and Kashmir were a great threat to the elections.
"Our threats and challenges have been growing because of the active borders that we have.
In certain areas, like in Taral, earlier it was a 1.4 percent turnout, and this time, it was about 38-39 percent. In Sopore, it was 4.6 in previous elections; it was again 38-39 percent this time. But overall, achieving 76 percent has been fantastic," he said.
The COAS also praised the media, terming it 'vital' for national security.
"You [the media] are the vital link between the soldier and the society. The soldier guards the border, provides a safe and secure environment; whereas you work on your part tirelessly to find the truth. Both the Indian Army soldiers and the media are vital for national security as well as development," he stated.
The five-phased elections in the state were held between November 25 and December 20. Counting of votes took place on December 23. The People's Democratic Party won 28 seats, the BJP won 25 seats, the National Conference won 15 seats and the Congress won 12 seats in the polls.