UP Exit Polls: Among Women Voters, 16 Percentage Point Gap Between BJP And SP, Predicts Axis-MyIndia
Experts believe the efficient delivery of welfare has nudged women into shifting towards the BJP.
The Axis-MyIndia exit poll for Uttar Pradesh, broadcast by the India Today group, has predicted a 16 percentage point gap between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP) among women voters.
According to the exit poll, the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP is likely to get around 48 per cent of the female votes in the state, while the Akhilesh Yadav-led SP may receive only 32 per cent share of female votes.
"If these numbers are true — 48 vs 32 gap among women voters — this would be the highest gender gap anywhere in the country," Rahul Verma of the Center for Policy Research said during the panel discussion on India Today as the numbers were released, adding, "Even [West Bengal Chief Minister] Mamata [Banerjee] had only 6 to 8 point advantage."
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), led by former chief minister Mayawati, the first-ever Dalit woman in India to serve as the chief minister, is likely to be at the third spot with 14 per cent vote among female voters.
Ironically, the Congress, which was led by general secretary Priyanka Gandhi in these elections, and had built its campaign around women empowerment, may end up with just 3 per cent of the female vote. For these elections, the party had given the slogan 'Ladki Hoon, Lad Sakti Hoon' and even released a song and a dedicated website based on it.
Experts believe the efficient delivery of welfare, including the ration scheme, has nudged women in the state into shifting towards the BJP. Many also point out that a very large number of houses built under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna are allotted in the name of women, a point that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also stated on many occasions.
According to the BJP, the improved law and order situation in the state has also contributed to the shift of the female vote in its favour.
Ahead of the elections, the SP had pulled out all the stops to woo the ‘aadhi aabadi [half of the population; women]’ in the state. Among other things, the party had given the slogan 'Shiksha suraksha rojgar, mahilaye banayengi Akhilesh sarkar [for education, security, jobs, women will bring Akhilesh to power]' and promised 33 per cent reservation for women in all government jobs in the state.
But the slogans and promises made by the opposition parties to women voters haven't worked, if one believes the Axis-MyIndia exit poll.
In Uttar Pradesh, the proportion of women voters who turned out to vote was higher than that of the men fourth phase onwards, including in the seventh and last phase of voting on Monday (7 March).
The BJP also leads the tally among men with a vote share of around 44 per cent. The SP is just behind the BJP with 40 per cent share of the male vote, followed by the BSP at 10 per cent and the Congress at 3 per cent.
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