Bhopal: The number of female voters in Madhya Pradesh has consistently gone down as compared to male voters since 1990. The disparity is the maximum in MP when compared with other states and union territories, the state government has admitted in a letter.
The difference between male and female voters was about 3.08% in 1990, which surged to 5.27% in the 2013 Assembly polls. Since 1990, the gap has only widened.
Concerned with the growing difference, state Minister of Women and Child Development, Archana Chitnis has written to Chief Electoral Officer, Salina Singh, urging her to take measures to bridge this gap ahead of the upcoming assembly elections.
Data of all assembly and parliamentary elections in the last 25 years as compiled by the ministry suggests that poll percentage of male voters has shown a steady but nominal growth whereas but the number of women voters turning up at polling booths have only gone down every year.
“Following the implementation of pro-women policies, programmes and reservation system, women have shown remarkable growth in various spectra of life, but it’s also true that the vote percentage of women in Assembly and Parliamentary elections, is not impressive,” observed the minister.
In light of these discouraging figures, the Madhya Pradesh minister further urged the CEO to take measures to enhance women vote percentage under the SVEEP plan being undertaken by the Election Commission for raising awareness among voters on exercising their franchise in polls.
At a department level, Chitnis has mentioned that a three-month initiative was undertaken to raise awareness among women so that more women cast their votes in the upcoming assembly elections.
Over the past two decades, the Madhya Pradesh has introduced a series of measures to empower women, including the Ladli Laxmi Yojana, which provisions cash incentive on the birth of a girl child.
Voting Pattern of Males and Females in Lok Sabha and Assembly Polls (%)