BJP wins 50 seats where women voted more than men, Congress bags 30
In around 41,006 rural booths in 33 districts in the state, identified by the election department, women voted higher in around 19 districts than men while the corresponding figure was 6 in urban areas
Women voters, who remained at the centre of chief minister Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government’s attention in the last five years with their slew of welfare schemes targeting them, the 48% of the population in Rajasthan seemed to have delivered a verdict against the party.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been leading in 50 of the 88 seats in the state where the women’s turnout was recorded higher than men’s, while Congress barely managed 30 and other independent candidates and small parties bagged eight seats.
During the campaign in the last few months, targeting women voters with its schemes and benefits, Congress was hoping to win women’s hearts by launching around 10 new schemes exclusively made for them and also running 34 others benefiting women, while the BJP raised the women’s safety issue in the state under Gehlot’s leadership.
Observing a significant surge in women’s turnout, particularly in the rural areas, the Congress credited the benefits of their schemes that helped a majority of women in economically backward families.
In around 41,006 rural booths in 33 districts in the state, identified by the election department, women voted higher in around 19 districts than men while the corresponding figure was 6 in urban areas.
Of the total electors in rural areas, 76.11% of women voted on the polling day, while for males it was 75.27%. whereas 70.28% of females voted in urban areas against 72.13% of males, according to the election commission data.
Rural polling stations in Alwar, Banswara, Barmer, Bharatpur, Bhilwara, Churu, Dausa, Dholpur, Dungarpur, Jaisalmer, Jalore, Jhunjhunu, Nagaur, Pali, Pratapgarh, Rajsamand, Sikar, Sirohi, and Udaipur witnessed around 80% women polling their political choices against around 78% men.
Sikar, Pali, Jhunjhunu, Rajsamand, and Dungarpur are the top five districts where the women’s voting turnout percentage crossed the men’s at a maximum margin. In Sikar, women voted 6.65% more than men while the gap between men and women turnout was 5.42% in Pali, 5.02% in Jhunjhunu, 4.72% in Rajsamand, and 4.50% in Dungarpur.
Meanwhile, the urban booths at only six districts have recorded the women turnout higher than the men this election, three districts down from the 2018 figure of nine districts.
The urban booths in Banswara, Churu, Dungarpur, Nagaur, Jhunjhunu, and Sikar recorded around 73% of women voting on November 25, around 2.5% up from the men’s percentage of turnout.
However, Sunday’s result revealed that the Congress won in around five out of eight constituencies in Sikar, four out of six in Churu, three out of four in Jhunjhunu, and three out of 10 constituencies in Nagaur while the party was not seen leading in a single constituency in Pali, Rajsamand, and Dungarpur till 5pm.
Political observers believed that “the Congress might not even manage to bag these 30 seats if the schemes were not there.”
“If the schemes were not in place, Congress would precisely have lost more women votes. The Rajasthan women are more sentimental and religious. The welfare schemes might have been appreciated by these women, but they found the BJP’s religious push more attractive than these schemes,” Jaipur-based political analyst Narayan Bareth said.
Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s several mentions of Ram Mandir in every speech he made in the last few days of the campaign, Bareth added, “The idea of Ram Mandir will attract any woman in Rajasthan as they are supremely devoted to religions and worships. It is not like they did not like schemes such as free smartphones, gas cylinder subsidies, and other welfare schemes. It is just they cannot prefer anything else over religions.”
Congress spokesperson Swarnim Chaturvedi said, “Like any other community, women’s votes were polarised by BJP. We hope they fulfil their promises and do not stop any of our schemes.”
Responding, BJP spokesperson Mukesh Pareek gave the credit to the women’s reservation bill. “The growing violence against the women made a resentment among the women against the Congress government that brought them to the booths and voting for us,” he added.