Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is on a two-day landmark trip to Jammu and Kashmir, today asked people of the state to participate more in the electoral process for a better future for the youth, saying that elections reflect true aspirations and hopes.
"Elections express the aspirations and hopes of the people in the true sense. I appeal to the people to participate in this process so that we can together ensure a better future for our younger generations," he said after laying the foundation stone of the 850 MW Rattle power project here.
The Prime Minister said the policies of the government for providing better future for the people of the state would be successful only when all economic and political processes are carried out in a democratic manner.
"Elections held at all levels are part of this process," he added.
The Prime Minister's remarks come in the wake of recent opposition by separatists to people's participation in the elections due next year.
While Lok Sabha elections are scheduled next year, the Assembly polls in the state are to be held towards the end of 2014.
The hardline Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani has called for a boycott of the elections.
UPA chief Sonia Gandhi is also accompanying the Prime Minister. Their visit comes a day after heavily armed militants killed eight soldiers in the deadliest attack in Srinagar for five years.
The PM said the entire country is standing united against terrorists and they will not succeed in their designs.
"I want to pay my tributes to the soldiers who laid down their lives while fighting the terrorists," Singh said in his speech after inaugurating 850 MW Rattle power project here along with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.