Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, April 26:
With the number of women voters exceeding that of their male counterparts in the last two phased elections in Odisha, each of the three major political parties claimed women were on their side.
The BJP claims the unprecedented enthusiastic participation of women voters-which also led to a spurt in polling percentage this time- was largely due to the Modi wave that promises change in the country’s polity.
“As you see, the whole country is under the spell of Modimaya and people want change in the country as well as in the state. So naturally, the female voters, who have a major say, have cast their votes in favour of the BJP ,” said BJP spokesperson Sajjan Sharma.
Senior BJD leader Pravat Tripathy, however, rubbished BJP’s claim and said the ruling party will reap the fruit of the developmental activities and welfare schemes for women carried out during the last 15 years.
“The state government has initiated number of schemes and programmes for women starting from Mamata Yojana, cyclesto girls, 50% reservation for women and Mission Shakti. They have been with us for the last 15 years and this time they will also be with us,” said Tripathy.
Not to be left behind, the PCC president Jayadev Jena also claimed it is the pro-poor and women-centric schemes of the UPA government that has persuaded women voters to cast their votes in favour of their party.
In the 2014 elections, women have registered a 74.62 per cent turnout leaving behind the men who clocked 72.53 per cent. The overall voter turnout in the state stands at 73.78 per cent.
1,04,37,534 women voters out of 1,39,87,183, who were registered, exercised their franchise during the two phase polls. As compared to them, as many as 1,09,98,963 male electors turned up to vote. The total number of registered male voters stood at 1,51,64,146 in the state.
In 2009 elections, the male voters’ turnout was 65.66 per cent against the women voter percentage of 64.90. For the 2014 elections, an additional 10.88 lakh male and 8.68 lakh female voters were added to the electoral roll during revisions.
In as many as 36 Assembly constituencies, women voters surpassed men in absolute terms.