The high voter turnout in Jammu and Kashmir's over month-long staggered assembly elections was because of a "lessening of fear factor" and a change in people's mindset, Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami said in New Delhi on Sunday.
“The increase in poll turnout was because of lessening of fear factor. Also, the high turnout was because of a change in people's mindset,” he told a news channel.
An estimated 63 percent of the state's total electorate of 6.5 million exercised its franchise in the seven-phased elections for the 87-member state assembly staged from November 17 to December 24.
“We shouldn't treat Kashmir different from any other elections. Although I admit we took a risk, keeping in mind that six months before the dissolution of the government elections must be held unless an act of god prevents it,” Gopalaswami said.
He said he didn't want to speculate on the results. “Time will tell about the (electoral) fate,” he said.
Counting of votes polled in Jammu and Kashmir's staggered assembly elections was underway Sunday and the Peoples Democratic Party and the National Conference were leading ahead of other parties.