Enthusiastic voter turnout in North East reflects strong faith in democracy, peace
In the week gone by, elections were held in most states of north eastern India, and witnessed a heavy voter turn out. This suggested and reflected the public's strong faith in democracy and their desire for peace and development in the region.
Polling by and large was peaceful in Manipur on April 17 in spite of a shutdown called by the Maoist Communist Party (MCP) on the eve of elections.
Security was tight all around the 911 polling stations spread over 32 assembly constituencies.
Samom Mohendro Singh, a voter in Manipur, said: "I want a government that can work towards bringing about peace and development in the state."
Binota Devi, another voter in the same state, said: "I want a good government. I want a government who is concerned about the public and who is going to work properly for whatever needs to be done for our region. This is why I have come out to vote."
In Mizoram, large crowds gathered before the 1,126 polling stations on April 11 to exercise their franchise.
Voting for the lone Lok Sabha seat in the state registered over 64 per cent voter turnout.
Tight security arrangements had been made across the state and along the international border with Bangladesh and Myanmar to conduct free and fair polls.
Kaphming Thangi, a voter in the state, said: "We women are gathering here early. After voting we will go to work. We want a good and right government."
In Assam, voting for three parliamentary constituencies saw a 75 per cent turnout in the second phase of polling. Voting took place in the Autonomous district, Karimganj and Silchar on April 12.
The final phase of polling in the state will take place on April 24.
A voter said: "I am feeling very good. We got our voter IDs this time, and we are happy to have voted."
In Tripura, on April 12, a high voter turnout was witnessed. Polling for the second Lok Sabha seat witnessed a turnout of 82 per cent. The Tripura west constituency that had gone to polls in the first phase on April 7 had registered 85 per cent turnout.
The voting for the tribal reserved East Tripura seat in over 1,490 polling stations will decide the fate of 12 candidates.
Tight security measures were in place along the border with Bangladesh to prevent any cross-border infiltration.
Debatara Reang, a voter in the state, said: "We have gathered to cast our vote at the Uttam Joy Para polling centre. We have been waiting here right from 6 a.m. so that we can vote early."
Another voter said: "Security is tight. Women voters are more than male voters. People are wanting the democracy system, which is good."
Sikkim that went for simultaneous Lok Sabha and assembly elections witnessed a 76 per cent turnout.
The counting of votes is scheduled to take place on May 16.
The large voter turnout in all the northeastern states is a clear sign of the people's faith in the democratic setup and their desire for peace and development.
(Posted on 19-04-2014)