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In UP, seats with higher women turnout rose sharply in last two polls

An analysis of UP election data shows that in the 2012 polls, the turnout of female voters was higher than their male counterparts in 207 seats out of the total 403 Assembly constituencies.

Written by Harikishan Sharma | New Delhi |
Updated: February 15, 2022 5:21:54 pm
Voters cast their votes in the first phase of assembly elections at Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh. (Express Photo: Praveen Khanna/File)

Women have outnumbered men in exercising their franchise in the last two Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, with the number of Assembly segments with higher female voter turnout as compared to men also rising sharply in the state. The overall percentage of women voters in UP has also been on the rise, increasing from 60.28 per cent (as against 58.68% male voters) in 2012 to 63.61 per cent (against 59.15% men voters) in 2017.

An analysis of UP election data shows that in the 2012 polls, the turnout of female voters was higher than their male counterparts in 207 seats out of the total 403 Assembly constituencies.

In the 2017 polls, of the 392 Assembly segments for which comparable data is available, female voter turnout was higher than males in 277 seats, which encompass 69 of the total 75 districts covering virtually the entire state. The data is not available for 11 seats including Dhaurahra (Kheri), Lucknow East, Isauli (Sultanpur), Etawah, Aurai (Sant Ravidas Nagar), Phulpur (Allahabad), Pratappur, Handia, Meja, Karchhana and Bara.

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Out of the 277 seats, women turnout was higher than men by over 15 percentage points in 24 seats, 10-15 percentage points in 61 seats, 5-10 percentage points in 60 seats and below 5 percentage points in 132 seats.

In 2017, the highest female poll percentage as against male turnout was recorded in the Didarganj constituency of Azamgarh district, where female turnout was 64.95 per cent — 18.71 per cent higher than the male turnout of 46.24 per cent. On the other hand, the Mohanlalganj constituency of Lucknow district saw the highest male poll percentage (68.70%) against female turnout (61.16%), showing a gap of 7.54 per cent.

The analysis of the 2017 poll data reveals that the Assembly segments with maximum female turnout as compared to males were spread across the rural hinterland of eastern Uttar Pradesh, which is the state’s most backward region that witnesses significant male migration to big cities for livelihood.

These Assembly segments include Didarganj (female turnout 64.95%, male turnout 46.24%) in Azamgarh; Bansi (female 60.78%, male 42.37%) in Siddharthnagar; Pathardeva (female 70.01%, male 51.88%); Rudrapur (female 65.77%, male 47.71%) in Deoria; and Menhdawal (female 61.06%, male 43.09%) in Sant Kabir Nagar. These five seats had also recorded the maximum female turnout as compared to their male counterparts in 2012 elections too.

In sharp contrast, among 115 constituencies, which saw a higher male turnout than females in the 2017 elections, the highest difference in vote percentage was recorded in Mohanlalganj (male 68.70%, female 61.16%), followed by Meerut (male 67.75%, female 60.82%), Varanasi South (male 66.45%, female 59.78%), Agra South (male 64.64%, female 58.99%) and Kanpur’s Arya Nagar (male 54.89%, female 49.57%). These constituencies were largely spread across urban areas, which may be surprising as polling booths in urban areas are relatively closer to homes than rural areas.

In 2012 elections, the maximum difference between male and female poll percentage was recorded in Varanasi South (male 61.96%, female 47.14%). It was followed by Arya Nagar (Kanpur Nagar), Dhaurahra (Kheri), Sri Nagar (Kheri) and Agra Rural.

The rising women turnout, among other factors, explains the political parties’ increasing focus on women voters in their manifestos in the run-up to the current UP Assembly elections.

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