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Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Bihar elections: More women voters step out; NDA 80% seats in constituencies with higher women turnout

Analysis of the results shows that turnout of women was higher than men in 166 of total 243 constituencies.

Written by Harikishan Sharma | New Delhi |
Updated: November 13, 2020 1:34:12 pm
Women voters seemed to have come to the help of NDA partner Janata Dal (United), too, as 37 of the party's 43 wins came from these constituencies.

Out of 125 seats the NDA won in Bihar Assembly elections, 99 came from constituencies that saw higher voting percentage of women than men, according to election data.

Analysis of the results shows that turnout of women was higher than men in 166 of total 243 constituencies.

Of these 166 constituencies, BJP bagged the most – 55; the party’s overall tally was 74. Women voters seemed to have come to the help of NDA partner Janata Dal (United), too, as 37 of the party’s 43 wins came from these constituencies.

Read| Development, women voters behind Bihar win, says PM Modi

Two other NDA constituents — Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) of former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi and Vikassheel Insaan Party of Mukesh Sahani won three and four seats, respectively, in these 166 constituencies.

In contrast, the opposition Mahagathbandhan (MGB) won a fewer number of its seats – 60 – in these 166 constituencies, led by RJD with 44 (see box for detailed break-up). The alliance won 110 seats in all in these polls.

Other parties outside the two main alliances which got seats in these constituencies with higher women turnout percentage are the Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM (5 seats) and Chirag Paswan-led Lok Janshakti Party (1 seat), aside from one Independent.

The three-phase Bihar Assembly election recorded an overall 57 per cent polling, with voting by women registering a markedly higher percentage – 59.69 – against 54.68 per cent polling by men.

Baisi constituency in Purnia district recorded the highest percentage point difference – 21.75 – between voting by men (54.63 per cent) and women (76.38 percent). AIMIM candidate Syed Ruknuddin Ahmad defeated BJP’s Vinod Kumar by 16,373 votes to win from Baisi.

Read| Percentage of women same as 2015, young MLAs reduce: Data on Bihar Assembly

In fact, AIMIM won all its five seats from constituencies that recorded higher turnout per cent by women.

The lowest difference between men (65.72 percent) and women (65.96 percent) voting was at Chakai constituency, where Independent candidate Sumit Kumar Singh defeated RJD’s Savitri Devi by only 581 votes.


Watershed elections in 2015

Although Bihar saw a very high turnout of women voters in this month's Vidhan Sabha polls – 59.69 per cent – this was still nearly a percentage point lower than the stats five years ago. Over the last four Assembly elections in Bihar, voting by women has seen a steady rise. In 2015, they overtook their male counterparts by a huge margin, with 60.48% women turning out to vote against 53.32% men. Turnout among women in 2015 was the highest in Bihar going as far back as 1962. Overall turnout that year was 56.66%. Bihar's sex ratio is 918, below the national average of 940, as per census 2011.

In 77 constituencies that saw higher male voting percentage, the RJD bagged the most – 31 seats – followed by BJP (19), Congress (11), CPI-ML (8), JD-U (6), and BSP and HAM(S) with one victory apiece.

The average victory margin in these 77 constituencies was higher (17,734 votes) than ones that saw higher percentage of women voting (16,403 votes).

Since 2000, the year Jharkhand was carved out from the state, Bihar has seen Assembly elections in February and October of 2005, in 2010, and in 2015. In February 2005, election data shows share of women who voted stood at 42.51 per cent (1.04 crore in all), which means a jump of nearly 18 percentage points in the next 10 years to 60.48 per cent in 2015.

In comparison, 49.94 per cent men (1.40 crore) turned out to vote in February 2005, with the needle moving slowly to 53.32 per cednt in 2015 and 54.68 per cent this year. Overall voter turnout in February 2005 polls was 46.5 per cent. Due to the fragmented result, elections were necessitated again in October that year, but despite expected voter exhaustion, more women turned out to vote – at 44 per cent (1.06 crore total) – compared to earlier that year.

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