Jammu: Hailing people of Jammu and Kashmir for registering a record voting percentage in the first phase of Assembly elections, Congress today hoped that voters will turn up in large numbers in the remaining four phases as well.
"INC takes opportunity to thank and pat people of Jammu and Kashmir for their valour, bravery and meaningful and effective participation in the first phase of polls with a decisive 71 per cent polling, thereby defeating the designs of those exporting terror from across the border and as also the separatists who have given a call for the boycott of the festival of democracy," All India Congress Committee spokesperson and MP Randeep Singh Surjewalla told reporters here today.
"INC truly salutes and celebrates the spirit of Indianess, patriotism, sacrifice and valour of people of Jammu and Kashmir," he said.
"We sincerely hope that this celebration of democracy will get further strengthened by way of mass participation of people of three regions of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh in the next four phases of polling," he said.
"It is for this reason that INC has given out a detailed blueprint of development to the people of Jammu and Kashmir in its manifesto," he added.
The remarks by Congress comes a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an election rally in Udhampur yesterday congratulated people for giving befitting reply to gun by voting in large numbers in the first phase of polls.
Attacking those who have given a poll boycott call, the Prime Minister had said, "Those people were suppressing the power of ballots with bullets. For the first time, people of J&K have strengthened themselves and pressed the ballot and have given their reply to the bullets."
"I have come for the second time for campaigning in J&K. For the first time I had gone to Chenab area (Kishtwar) in J&K. But the way polling has taken place, I want to congratulate those voters of J&K who have voted in large numbers and made democracy victorious," Modi had said.
In the first phase of Assembly elections, Jammu and Kashmir had registered a record 71.28 per cent turnout. People had ignored the boycott calls by separatists and cold conditions to cast their votes in 15 constituencies.