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Last Updated : Feb 14, 2020 07:22 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Delhi Election Result: Women cut across caste, community and class barriers to vote for Kejriwal-led AAP

The pattern shows a departure from the long-held belief that women vote on the advice of their husbands or other male members in their family.


As the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party won 62 of the 70 seats in the recently-concluded Delhi Assembly elections, a crucial social demographic contributed to the second consecutive victory for the party — women.

According to a report in The Indian Express, not only did women match men in terms of voting percentage – falling short by a measly 0.07 percent – they also voted overwhelmingly in favour of AAP.

A post-poll survey conducted by Lokniti-CSDS suggests that the gender divide in voting preferences was so much this time around, that had women not voted this election, AAP would not have won so handsomely, and might have inked out a victory by a narrow margin.

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According to the survey, about 60 percent women voted for AAP, as compared to 49 percent men. On the other hand, only 35 percent women voted for the BJP, which won eight seats, as compared to 43 percent men.

The pattern shows a departure from the long-held belief that women vote on the advice of their husbands or other male members in their family.

The survey concluded that this has been the largest gender divide over voting preferences since 1998, and that such a divide wasn’t evident even during the times when Sheila Dikshit was at the helm of affairs in Delhi.

Besides, this gender divide cuts across nearly all castes, communities, classes and age groups. According to the survey, women from all communities have voted more in favour of AAP than the BJP, or Congress.

The gap was the most pronounced among lower/middle caste Hindu communities, the survey pointed out. For instance, the gap between Dalit women voting for AAP and their male counterparts voting for the party, was a good 25 percent. Among the Jats, Gujjars and Yadavs, the gap between women and men voting for AAP was 18 percent.

Among the Brahmin community too, more number of women supported the AAP as compared to men. However, the disparity was not as drastic.

The report has attributed this pattern to the many measures rolled out by the ruling AAP government. For instance, free bus rides in DTC and cluster buses for women. Secondly, women, especially homemakers, were more affected by price rise and punished the BJP for it. For women, economic matters as well as water and electricity subsidies were bigger issues, as compared to their male counterparts.

Another reason could be women getting put off by various controversial remarks made by BJP leaders against women protesters at Shaheen Bagh, as well as alleged excesses by the Delhi Police against women and students. In fact, the survey pointed out that women were far less supportive of CAA and NRC than men, and that they were far more critical of the police action against protesting students than men.

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First Published on Feb 14, 2020 07:22 pm
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