Known for their habit of turning up to vote in large numbers and upsetting the calculations of political parties by “not falling prey” to their propaganda, women in the Hamirpur parliamentary seat on Wednesday cast their votes, outnumbering the men.
Hamirpur district, where woman voters outnumber the men, again saw maximum participation by them. Of the 2.49 lakh voters who went to the polling stations to cast their votes, 1.36 lakh were women.
In Una district, 1.34 lakh women and 1.29 lakh men exercised their franchise. Similar trends were reported from other assembly segments under Bilaspur and Dharampur of Mandi districts and Dehra and Jaswan of Kangra district.
Women in the constituency actively participated in the election process from the beginning and raised almost all issues with the leaders of all parties that came to them to seek their support.
The women told them that they were upset due to shortage of essential commodities and increasing prices, atrocities on women, increasing unemployment and other women-related issues.
As women have been given 50% reservation in the panchayati raj institutions in the state, they persuaded others to join them at the polling stations to cast their votes and elect their representative, irrespective of party affiliations.
Congress’ candidate for the Sujanpur assembly bypoll Anita Rana told HT that she was “happy” with the large number of women casting their votes. “It is a healthy trend and it seems that women are leaving their kitchens to participate in active politics,” she added.
She said she was new to politics and contesting for the first time, but was happy with what she had lear nt during the last two months, adding that the participation of women would help her as her husband Rajinder Rana had “done a lot for them” as the chairman of the Sarv Kalyankari society.
Sandhya Sharma of Hamirpur said she went to the polling station in her village with her grandchildren, and was happy to see that women out numbered the men.
“It proves that women have realised the importance of their voting rights and will perform well once they are given 50% or even 35% reservation in Vidhan Sabha or Lok Sabha,” she added.