Record 71.32% turnout this polls saw female voters catching up

Women vote

The Election Commission on Tuesday said the turnout in the 2012 Assembly elections in Gujarat stood at 71.32 %, which is the highest-ever turnout in the state.

Also, the gap between turnouts of male and female voters has reduced considerably to mere 3.52% this election, indicating an increasing awareness among female voters. In the run-up to polls, the EC had run female-specific campaigns, from slogan campaigning like 'Baa, bahu aur karengey saath saath' to Bhawai (folk drama).

"In the revised registration roll a few months before the election, more females got themselves registered than males," said Gujarat's Chief Electoral Officer, Anita Karwal.

"The Commission had used a lot of interactive and entertaining campaigns involving females like bhawai, tamasha, sakhi mandals and personal appeal letters where the female voter turnout had been low," added Karwal.

Other measures like facilitating more and more female voters to cast their votes were also taken at the polling booths. For instance, two female voters were allowed to vote after every male voter so that they could finish with voting and return home early.

The highest female voter turnout was recorded in Narmada district with 81.52 %, followed by Tapi and Navsari with 79.42 % and 75.96 %, respectively. The lowest was in Porbandar (63.07 %) followed by Amreli that recorded 63.43 %. In overall turnouts in percentage terms, Garbada in Dahod district (57.40%), Junagadh (60.71%) and Gandhidham in Kutch district (61.04%) recorded the lowest polling.

In Mansa near Gandhinagar, which saw 75% turnout in bypoll held just nine months ago, the turnout this time crossed 80%. In the bypoll, Congress candidate Babuji Thakore had defeated his BJP rival D D Patel by more than 8,000 votes.

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