Patna: The data of women voters’ turnout in the third phase of election released by state Election Commission shows that women have left their male counterparts behind in casting votes.
The figures reveal that out of the seven parliamentary constituencies — Supaul, Araria, Kishanganj, Katihar, Purnia, Bhagalpur and Banka, Katihar women stood at the top of the list in terms of turnout with a remarkable 71.45% polling.
This was 6.51% higher than male voters. In Supaul, this margin was 10.5%. Bhagalpur was the only constituency in the third phase that saw major participation of male voters.
The high turnout of women at the polling booths is being viewed differently by various sections of society. CM Nitish Kumar called it an advantage for JD(U). He earlier claimed that womenfolk favoured his party due to his endeavours in the pursuit of achieving women empowerment in the state as well as better law and order situation.
The CM said the reservation of 50% of the seats in local bodies and panchayati raj institutions to women created a sense of increased political empowerment among them. The empowerment led them to political awareness and added to their political agility, the CM said, adding they felt neglected during tenures of previous governments in the state due to the absence of tailor-made provisions for them.
Sharing opinions similar to that of the CM, eminent sociologist D M Diwakar said the increased turnout of women in the election may be an outcome of the government policies that ensured reservation for women besides increasing their participation in government programmes.