DARBHANGA/NEW DELHI: Women voters, the most loyal vote bank of Nitish Kumar have once again voted silently in large numbers and seemed to have shored up the NDA numbers.
According to official data, the state witnessed an overall polling of 57.05% while female turnout was recorded as 59.7% as against 54.7% of male turnout.
Out of 38 districts, 23 reported higher voter turnout of women than that of men.
Nitish has nurtured this vote bank cautiously since he came to power for the first time in 2005 after the 15-year RJD rule during which, he claims crime against women were at the peak.
not only introduced free cycle programme for schoolgirls in his first stint, but also introduced 50% quota for women in panchayat and municipal bodies.
In his second term, he introduced financial assistance scheme for Class XII girl students and 50% reservation for women in government jobs.
In 2016, Kumar played a masterstroke by banning alcohol.
“Welfare schemes like Ujjwala yojana, 50 per cent reservation for the women in Panchayat elections and government jobs, distribution of by-cycles for school girls really helped to empower women in rural areas,” said political analyst Law Kumar Mishra.
Political analyst Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay said it seems the women voters have shored up NDA’s electoral prospects.
Their support for Nitish Kumar in Bihar has also been increased by the personal appeal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. But VMR founder Jai Mrug disagreed.
“I am not sure…some women were equally unhappy with Nitish over prohibition as it led to extortion by police. They would not have played as much as the extremely backward castes; the latter were impacted directly by the lockdown.”