More women voters in Rajasthan polls

Sunny Sebastian

Outnumber male voters in over 2 dozen Assembly constituencies

State’s population-voter ratio is 1000:551

Male-female voter ratio is 1000:906

JAIPUR: Women voters outnumbered their male counterparts in more than two dozen constituencies in the Rajasthan Assembly elections held on Thursday. Considering the State’s adverse male-female ratio (1,000 males against 909 females) and the lesser number of female voters in the electoral rolls here, this development has aroused the curiosity of political observers and sociologists.

Rajasthan has a population-voter ratio of 1,000:551 and male-female voter ratio of 1,000:906 (against 19,000,430 male voters, there are 17,213,900 female voters).

Vasundhara factor?

Perhaps there is more to the upsurge in woman power in the State though generally it is attributed to the charisma of Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.

Ms. Raje is considered popular among women as they attend her rallies in large numbers, but curiously enough the polling by women voters in her constituency Jhalrapatan, has been less than that of men (against 74 per cent polling by men, only 62.68 per cent women).

“Women voting more than men in some of these constituencies cannot be due to Ms. Raje’s popularity. There are multiple reasons for the evolution of women in Rajasthan and I would mention the National Rural Employment Guarantee programme as one of them,” said Magsaysay Award winner Aruna Roy when asked to comment. “Ms. Raje has no influence on rural women,” she asserted.

Geographical pattern

There is a geographical pattern in the female voters outperforming their male counterparts. The trend is noticed in the three Shekhawati districts of Sikar, Jhunjhunu and Churu, where the female literacy rate is the highest in the State. The pattern is missing in the constituencies in the adjoining, more tradition-bound, Bikaner.

Going further north, the pattern is seen in some constituencies in Sriganganagar, a district where the Human Development Index of women is high.