Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said here on Tuesday that the high turnout of around 75.78 per cent in the first phase of polling in the State showed that peace had returned and the people had rejected the insurgent United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA).

Polling was held in the Tezpur, Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Lakhimpur and Kaliabor constituencies on Monday. Mr. Gogoi exuded confidence that the Congress would win all five seats.

At a press conference, he said that during the Assembly election, the party promised to restore peace to the State ravaged by insurgency. Monday’s turnout, despite the election being held on ULFA’s foundation day, showed that his government had delivered on the promise.

Mr. Gogoi said young people and women voted in large numbers. People, particularly the youth, had been noticing the return of peace, and development taking place in the State. This encouraged them to come out in large numbers to vote.

He said that by releasing its election manifesto on the day of the first phase of polling, the Bharatiya Janata Party had shown disrespect to the people of Assam and Tripura. The delay showed the indecisiveness of the party’s prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi. If he was so indecisive and confused about what to be included in the manifesto, then how could he lead the country?

He accused the BJP of hoodwinking the people of Assam by promising to take up problems on which the Congress government had initiated action. For instance, his government had expedited work on a barbed-wire fence on the India-Bangladesh border. Only 8 km now remained to be fenced. The BJP’s promise was to complete the work if it came to power.

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