Mother of all polls

Wednesday 14th October 2015 05:53 EDT

Phase One of the Bihar assembly polls saw an outstandingly high percentage of female voters as compared to males, even as the overall attendance at the polling booths dragged around 57 per cent, 6 per cent more than the 2010 figures. The Election Commission said the figures could rise even higher once the final compilations were through.

With 59.5% women turning out to vote, men accounted for 54.5%, it was speculated whether the four per cent rise in women's votes that could possibly change the entire scenario, have anything to do with the goodwill enjoyed by Nitish Kumar among women. The leader has promoted women, boosting female enrolment in schools by distributing bicycles among students. However, it was also argued that the anticipated goodwill for the JD(U) leader was not in evidence in LS polls and could have toned down because of his partnership with Lalu Prasad.

Bihar's chief electoral officer Ajay V Nayak said, “It may be because of the exodus of men to other states primarily for work.” The oldest woman voter was 108 year old Maharani Devi from Teghra constituency in Begusarai. The EC said voting in Maoist-hit areas was between 310% more than last time. Sikandra in Jamui recorded a 10% increase. Modi followers maintain the huge turnout was provoked by the Indian Prime Minister's campaign which saw record audiences in all the rallies he addressed, triggering speculations that the BJP might find firm roots in the region.

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