How MP Women Impacted The Polls This Time

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How MP Women Impacted The Polls This Time

| Updated: November 22, 2023 12:19

There was a sense of anticipation that women’s vote might influence Madhya Pradesh’s elections. 

The state election commission released data on Saturday showing Madhya Pradesh registered its highest-ever turnout of 77.15% on November 17. Additionally, according to the report, published by The Print, 76.03% of the 2.72 crore registered women voters and 78.21% of the 2.88 crore registered male voters.

Compared to 2018, when 74.03% of the state’s 2.41 crore female voters cast ballots, this was a two percentage point rise in the number of female voters. Compared to the last assembly elections, 18.30 lakh more women cast ballots this time around.

The Madhya Pradesh Institute of Social Science Research in Ujjain’s director and professor Yatindra Singh Sisodia remarked that the higher turnout among female voters may be attributed to natural progression and does not suggest a political advantage for any one party, The Print reported.

State BJP President VD Sharma asserted that the party has seen a significant increase in the turnout of female voters. He said that this was the outcome of the BJP’s promise to provide pucca dwellings under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, LPG connections under the Ujjwala Yojana, and other amenities under the Ladli Behna Yojana, including monthly financial help.

Based on an analysis of state election commission data, The Print found that although women vote more frequently than men in 29 of the 230 assembly seats in the state, their turnout was higher in 34 seats this time. Additionally, the analysis showed that of these 34 seats, incumbents in 25 of them were BJP MLAs, and in the remaining nine, they were Congress MLAs.

In contrast, women voted in 10 assembly seats more than men did, but they turned out to vote at a higher rate in 2018 for 51 assembly seats than men did.

“The final figures of the assembly election show that, like every time, even this time women have not only voted less than their male counterparts, but their participation has been lesser than that of 2018. In 2018, the turnout of women voters was 1.95% less than male turnout while in 2023, their voting percentage is 2.18% less than that of the men,” Piyush Babele, media advisor to state Congress chief Kamal Nath, was quoted as saying by The Print.

According to political analyst Rasheed Kidwai, the BJP was unable to provide every Madhya Pradesh household with the benefits of the Ladli Behna Yojana.

“It was an initiative of the MP government headed by Shivraj Singh Chouhan but the party failed in owning it. Besides, a lot of these seats with a higher women percentage are concentrated in Vindhya and Mahakaushal region where there is rampant migration with women back at home as men are away working,” Kidwai told the media outlet.

He believed that though central leadership influenced the BJP’s campaign and focused on the Ram temple in Ayodhya, it did not give the BJP any tactical advantage since the Congress didn’t oppose the idea.

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