He said he was happy to learn of the huge turnout in the first phase of voting in the two states and "it is a positive sign for our democracy".

"Defying threats from militants and Naxals (Maoists), the people of Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand have rejected the ideology of terror and violence," he said.

Voters in Jammu and Kashmir defied a boycott call by separatist groups and braved inclement weather to cast their ballot in large numbers as 15 Assembly constituencies voted in the first of the five-phase state polls.

More than 70 percent of the over one million voters cast their ballot.

In Jharkhand, voters defied a poll boycott call by Maoists and cast their ballot in 13 assembly constituencies in six Maoist-affected districts.

Around 62 percent of the three million voters exercised their franchise.

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