Woman voters emerge decisive in Jharkhand

  • Sanjoy Dey, Hindustan Times, Ranchi Ranchi
  • Updated: Dec 23, 2014 17:00 IST

Political parties might have ignored women as their candidates in the assembly polls but they are playing a pivotal role in deciding candidates’ fate with outperforming their male counterparts in terms of casting votes.

Polling has ended in 65 of the 81-member of Jharkhand assembly with overall voting percentage about 65%. Females have registered 1.09% higher turnout than their male counterparts.

According to the final figures of 65 seats, female voters’ turnout is 65.55% while the polling percentage of male is merely 64.46%. In all 65 seats, female voters dominated 30 seats.

In 2009 elections, woman voters had taken lead only in eight out of total 81 seats while male voters had dominated in 73 seats.

There were 1, 71, 58887 eligible voters in 65 seats, elections of which held in four phases. Of the total, there were 81, 00,164 female voters and 90, 41,081 male voters. The fifth and final phase will go to poll on December 20, which will see 17,84,486 female voters out of total 36,90,069 eligible voters.

Though election commission and political parties are patting their backs for the rise in women participation, political parties look the other ways.

BJP is seeing this turnout as Modi magic. “Women have shown faith in Modi ji. They are turning up to the polling stations only to realize the Modi-ji’s dream to make Jharkhand as developed state,” said BJP spokesperson Pradip Sinha.

JMM spokesperson Supriyo Bhattacharya said, “Unprecedented enthusiasm of woman voters shows that they are aware of their rights. They want development and change the way Hemant government has shown in last 15 months.”

Interestingly, very few political parties have shown faith in women as candidate. Out of the total 1136 candidates contesting elections from 81 constituencies, only 111 are women and 27 of them are contesting polls as independent candidates.

Congress and JMM have fielded the maximum 12 women each while BJP and JVM-P have fielded only nine and eight candidates respectively in the 81-seat assembly polls.

Political analysts felt the change because of women’s participation in panchayat and urban local bodies.

“After the panchayat polls in Jharkhand, woman became Mukhiya and Sarpanch. Now, their political ambitions have increased and they see them in greater political perspective” a political analyst and former pro-VC of Ranchi University, said VP Saran.

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