Patna, Oct 17 (IANS) With women voters outnumbering male voters in the first two of the five-phase Bihar assembly polls, they have emerged as a prominent vote bank - more powerful than the youths and caste factor in the state.
A large number of people voted in the first and second round of Bihar assembly polls on Monday (October 12) and Friday (October 16) respectively.
"Unlike youths, women in large number voted in Bihar in the first and second phase of polls," an election commission official said.
In the second-phase of polls, around 54.82 percent of the 8.58 million electorate voted in 32 of the 243 constituencies.
Chief Electoral Officer Ajay V. Nayak said 57.50 percent of the women voted against 52.50 percent male voters.
Similarly, in the first phase on October 12, around 57 percent of the 13.5 million electorate voted, 59.50 percent of the women voted against 54.50 percent of the male voters.
"It is really a positive development that more women have voted this time," the official said.
According to Nayak, long queues of women voters were seen outside polling booths in both phases. "It may continue in remaining three phases on October 28, November 1 and 5," he said.
Polls watchers said this was a result of several schemes initiated by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for women's empowerment.
The government has reserved 50 percent posts in Panchayati Raj elections and primary
school teachers' recruitment for women and 35 percent of all police jobs for women.
The government's scheme to promote education among girls by providing them free cycles
has increased school enrolment in rural areas.
More than women in urban areas, the rural women in rural areas were seen standing outside at polling booths.
In last assembly polls in 2010, the women turn out was good but it was not like this
time. "It is a record in making till the polls end next month," said another official.