Patna: Nearly 60 percent of female voters came out to exercise their franchise in Bihar in the Lok Sabha elections as against just about 55 percent turnout for men.
As per the figures released by the Election Commission in Patna, the overall turnout for female voters stood at 59.92 percent as against 55.26 percent for men. The constituencies which registered the highest female turnouts were Katihar (72.37 percent), Supaul (71.64 percent), Kishanganj (70.37 percent), Araria (69.39 percent), Purnea (68.15 percent), Begusarai (67.13 percent), Samastipur (66.74 percent), Vaishali (66.62 percent) and Ujiarpur (65.12 percent).
In contrast, the male turnout did not exceed 65 percent in any of the 40 seats in the state and exceeded 60 percent in only five constituencies -- Supaul, Araria, Kishanganj, Katihar and Purnea.
Notably, among the constituencies with the highest female turnouts, only Supaul and Vaishali had a woman candidate as one of the main contestants. While sitting Congress MP Ranjeet Ranjan is in the fray from Supaul, in Vaishali the LJP (Lok Janshakti Party) has fielded Veena Devi.
In some constituencies, the difference between male and female turnout was significantly high. In Sitamarhi 54.53 percent of men voted as against 64.36 percent women. In Madhubani and Jhanjharpur, the male turnout stood at 48.14 percent and 51.25 percent respectively as against 59.97 percent and 63.83 percent for female voters in these constituencies.
Siwan, where the main contest is between Kavita Singh of JD(U) and Heena Shahab of RJD, the female voters appeared similarly enthusiastic as their turnout stood at 59.56 percent as against only 50.17 percent for men.
However, in adjoining Gopalganj (SC) and Maharajganj, which did not have any prominent female candidate, women's turnout was still high registering about 10 percent more than that of men.
Notably, all constituencies which went to polls in the last phase registered lower female turnouts. Patna Sahib, which covers the entire Bihar capital, saw a measly 43.07 percent female turnout as against 49.27 percent men.
The seat is witnessing a high-profile battle between actor-turned-politician and second term MP Shatrughan Sinha, who is the contesting on a Congress ticket, and Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad who has been fielded by the BJP. In adjoining Pataliputra, Lalu Prasad's daughter Misa Bharti's presence in the fray seems to have failed to enthuse female voters as their turnout stood at 52.40 percent compared with 59.07 percent for male.
In Sasaram (SC), which former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar seeks to wrest back from BJP's Chhedi Paswan, female turnout was 51.65 percent as against 56.88 percent for male.
Even in Nalanda, the home turf of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar who has been working over the years to carve out a following among female voters, cutting across caste and religious lines, through measures like reservations in panchayats ban on alcohol and free uniforms and bicycles to school-going girls, only 47.44 percent of women voted compared with 50.15 percent men.
Female turnout was similarly lower than that of men in the remaining four seats Arrah, Jehanabad, Karakat, and Buxar which went to polls on 19 May.
Apart from the eight seats that went for polling in the last phase of Lok Sabha election, Gaya (SC), which had voted on 11 April in the first phase, recorded a low female turnout compared to their male counterparts. Former chief minister and HAM president Jitan Ram Manjhi is engaged in a straight contest with JD (U)'s Vijay Manjhi in this constituency which saw 55.55 percent women come out to vote as against 56.74 percent men.
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Updated Date: May 22, 2019 11:12:52 IST