Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Monday said the average 58 per cent turnout in the just-concluded Jharkhand Assembly elections was “a stinging rejection of the CPI(Maoist) and other militants, who attempted to terrorise the State people into boycotting the elections.”

In a statement, Mr. Chidambaram said security forces would remain in Jharkhand to maintain law and order on the counting day on Wednesday and even later also.

Lauds troops’ bravery

The Minister complimented the security personnel, who “showed exemplary bravery against the determined attempts of the naxalites to disrupt the elections” and appealed to people to cooperate with the State administration and maintain peace and harmony until a new government was sworn in.

“Elections in Jharkhand have come to an end. I am happy to note that the fifth and the last phase witnessed a turnout of 58.12 per cent. The average for all the phases is 58 per cent, a number that can truly make the people of Jharkhand proud. In my view, this is a stinging rejection of the CPI(Maoist) and other militants, who attempted to terrorise the people of Jharkhand into boycotting the elections. The ultimate victor is democracy,” he said.

Remembering the valiant

“At this hour, it is our duty to remember the six jawans of the paramilitary forces, five policemen of the Jharkhand police and one from the Bihar police who lost their lives during the elections. We share the grief of their families and offer them our sincere condolences. I have instructed the authorities concerned to ensure that the compensation due to the deceased policemen is paid expeditiously and a report of compliance submitted by January 15, 2010,” he said.