Madhya Pradesh: Women voters pip men in Chandigarh, in close race in Madhya Pradesh

NEW DELHI: Women outnumbered men in pressing the electronic voting machine (EVM) button during the two-phase polling in Chhattisgarh, even as female voter turnout in 32 of Madhya Pradesh’s 230 constituencies beat the polling percentage of their male counterparts.
As per gender-wise turnout figures pertaining to votes cast in the two Hindi-belt states, the absolute number of female voters who turned up to vote was higher than that of male voters in 50 of Chhattisgarh’s 90 assembly constituencies.Of the total 1.56 crore people who voted across the state, around 78.1 lakh were women and 77.5 lakh men.
In Madhya Pradesh, the overall turnout improved to 77.1% (based on votes cast on EVMs) from 74.9% in 2018. Female turnout in the BJP-governed state went up to around 76% this time from 74% in 2018, while the corresponding rise in male voter turnout was from 75.8% to 78.2%. Among the constituencies, the lowest overall turnout was in Jobat (54.3%) and the highest in Thandla (almost 87%).
The female voter turnout (women who voted as a percentage of total enrolled women electors) in Chhattisgarh too was higher than the male voter turnout in 27 constituencies of Chhattisgarh. Of these, half a dozen constituencies are Left-wing extremism affected.
Overall, the final EVM turnout figure in Chhattisgarh, not including the votes cast by postal ballots, was slightly lower at 76.3% this time as compared to 76.4% in 2018 (which however includes postal ballot votes). Female voter turnout in the Left-wing extremism affected state reflected the same trend at 76.2% (down from 76.3%) as did the male polling percentage at 76.4% (down from 76.6%). There was a jump in third gender turnout, which rose from 8% in 2018 to 28.9% this time.
The highest turnout in Chhattisgarh was recorded in Kurud assembly constituency (90.1%) while likely urban apathy hit the poll percentage in Raipur with Raipur City North witnessing 55.6% turnout, Raipur City West 55.9%, Raipur Rural 58.5% and Raipur City South 60.2%.
Parties have been trying to woo women voters in the current round of assembly polls. While BJP has offered cheaper LPG cylinders at Rs 450 each, higher benefits under schemes like Laadli Behna and free education up to post-graduation for poor girls, Congress has promised to provide Rs 1,500 per month as income support for women and gas cylinders at Rs 500 each, if elected to office. BJP is also hoping to benefit from passage of the women’s reservation bill by Parliament in September.
The EC too had made special efforts to improve the participation of women voters by focusing not only on their higher enrolment but also through initiatives like all-women managed polling stations. It set up 5,000 all-women managed booths in MP and over 1,000 in Chhattisgarh.


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