BENGALURU: Political parties may not give prominence to women candidates, but the number of women voters in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections can have an impact, say political analysts. In seven of the 28 constituences in Karnataka, women voters are more in number than males.
Analysts say more women voters will make a “huge difference” in a candidate’s victory.
This time, of the 5,03,07,182 voters, 2,54,55,976 are males, 2,48,46,488 are females and 4,718 are under the ‘others’ category. Earlier, women did not have a view on politics or choosing their elected representative. However, things are changing now.
Political analyst Prof Harish Ramaswamy said, these days women discuss about the manifesto.
“They look for more family-oriented schemes that will help in saving their income and help their children’s education. Recently, we visited a small village in Athani, and asked them if they voted as per the decision of the men in their family. The women said they will vote for whoever they want to and not according to anybody else’s wish. ‘It’s our choice and our right,’ the women replied. The scenario is similar in many places,’’ he said.
MP Shobha Karandlaje believes women of her constituency will come out to support her.
“Women from Udupi-Chikmagalur belt are financially independent. They take most of the decisions at home and are well aware of what’s happening around. More women voters here will be an advantage for me. I have been representing their voice and I am sure they will vote for me this time too,” she added.
This time, of 278 candidates in the fray, only 20 are women candidates, including two from a political party. According to Prof Harish, women voters prefer to favour women candidates. Prof Muzaffar Assadi, a professor in Political Science said, one of the main reasons for more female voters than males is because most of the men are migrants (in case of places like Raichur, Koppal) and from outside the country (in case of Mangaluru and coastal areas).
These male voters miss the election, most of the time. There is a difference between the voting pattern of male and female voters.
“Male voters look for an icon like Narendra Modi or Rahul Gandhi. They look for a brand, whereas women vote for caste. They prefer candidates of their own caste, as they assume it will help them,’’ he said.