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Women turned out in greater numbers than males in Rae Bareli, Amethi

In the much-discussed seats of Rae Bareli and Amethi, which went to the polls in the fifth round on May 20, more women than males cast ballots. Out of the 53 constituencies that have cast ballots in the state so far, these are the only two where the total number of women who turned out to vote exceeded the total number of males.

Voter turnout statistics exclusively available to TOI show that on May 20, 5,23,822 women and 5,13,167 men cast ballots in Rae Bareli, while in Amethi, 4,92,861 women and 4,83,188 men cast ballots.

Subsequent analysis revealed that in Rae Bareli, 61.42 percent of women exercised their right to vote, compared to 58.1 percent in 2019, while in Amethi, 57.74 percent of women registered to vote, up from 56.4 percent in 2019.

In Rae Bareli, the overall voter turnout on May 20 was 58.12% (votes cast by electronic voting machines alone), compared to 56.12% in 2019. 2019 voting turnout with mail-in votes was 56.34 percent.

Comparably, in Amethi, the percentage of voters who used electronic voting machines (EVMs) on May 20th was 54.34 percent, compared to 53.97 percent on the same day in 2019. The percentage of voters who used postal votes was 54.1%.

Out of 80 parliamentary constituencies in 2019, 37 had higher percentages of female voters than male voters, according to the ECI. However, in terms of absolute numbers, only six constituencies—Marajganj, Sultanpur, Sant Kabir Nagar, Domariyaganj, and reserved seats Machhlishahr and Lalganj—saw higher percentages of female voters.

“It can be assumed that central government schemes focused on women, and political factors of BJP’s Smriti Irani and Congress’s Priyanka Gandhi in the poll campaign attracted more women voters to polling booths,” political analyst and seasoned writer JP Shukla said in an interview with TOI.

“If central government schemes for women was the reason for higher women turnout in Rae Bareli and Amethi, then by the same logic, the women should have come out more in numbers in the remaining 51 constituencies which went to the polls,” stated Anand Vardhan Singh, a veteran journalist and political analyst.
He went on, “We can all agree that Sonia Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi, and Smriti Irani were able to mobilize more women for poll campaigns, which is why there were so many women who cast ballots.”

“Another factor why large numbers of parliamentary constituencies didn’t register more women participation as compared to 2019 is possibly a belief that the Modi government had a higher chance to repeat, so why step out to vote,” stated Professor Badri Narayan of the G B Pant Social Science Institute, Allahabad, in the meantime. However, this is just a supposition.

“It is indisputable that prominent female campaigners from the BJP (Smriti) and Congress (Priyanka) played a significant role in drawing in female voters,” he said.

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