New Delhi, Feb 17 : Women are a 'big reason' behind the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)'s runaway success in Delhi for the third consecutive term. A day after the swearing-in of Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government, a survey done by a poll-related body on condition of anonymity said that votes polled by the fairer sex are estimated to be 11 per cent higher than the males in favour of AAP.
At a time when the BJP was accused of rising household expenses, AAP's offer of free public transport, cutting water and electricity bills came as a big relief to the common man. There is also a 'speculation' that women were less receptive to BJP's inflammatory "goli maaro" rhetoric and crackdown on anti-CAA demonstrators-another reason for the gender gap. Women's turnout has been growing rapidly in the last two decades, reaching a historic high in the 2019 Lok Sabha election- only 0.4 per cent behind the male turnout-when BJP won its huge mandate.
The question of whether women are a distinct enough category, or how they vote, has no 'glib answers'. According to some political pandits, women feel more embedded in their group identities, and also that they are "overall poorer and more precariously placed". The experts point out that they (women) favour welfare policies attuned to their priorities - the alcohol ban in some states, or policies that reduce their care burden, have been attempts to woo women voters.
Ask to comment on it sociologist-turned-activist Neelima Pandey maintained, "Whatever the reasons, the Delhi election has shown us a clear divergence in attitudes. All parties should listen more carefully to half the electorate, instead of assuming they are just an extension of male voters." (UNI)