Women Voters, How Much Money You Will Get Depends Which State You Live in, Who Wins – News18

Women wait to cast their votes for the Rajasthan Assembly elections, in Ajmer on November 25, 2023. (PTI)

Why have political parties promised different amounts of yearly assistance to women voters in different states? BJP and Congress leaders cite three main reasons — extent of the allowance on the per-capita income of a particular state, the fiscal deficit that exists in that state and the chances either parties see of winning the state

Women voters have outnumbered the voting by men in both Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. But how much money you will get as a woman from the government depends not just on which poll-bound state you live in, but also on the party that comes to power on December 3.

Sample this: The Congress has promised Rs 30,000 a year for women in Telangana, Rs 18,000 for women in Madhya Pradesh, Rs 15,000 in Chhattisgarh and only Rs 10,000 in Rajasthan.

In the BJP camp, Rs 15,000 a year is being presently given to women in Madhya Pradesh and Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has promised to take it to Rs 36,000 a year ultimately if the party returns to power. The BJP has also promised Rs 12,000 a year to women in Chhattisgarh if it comes to power in the state. But intriguingly, the BJP has not promised any monetary allowance for women in Rajasthan and Telangana if it comes to power in these states on December 3.

What could be the reasons for this variance? News18 spoke to leaders in both the BJP and the Congress, and they explained the decision is based on the extent of the allowance on the per-capita income of a particular state, the fiscal deficit that exists in that state and also the chances either parties see of winning the state.

For example, a senior BJP leader told News18 they were sure of winning Rajasthan, but not so hopeful of winning Telangana, so it has not offered any monetary allowance for the women in either of the two states. “We have offered a lump-sum money for the girl child in Rajasthan. Madhya Pradesh is a very close fight, so both sides are wooing the women voters. Our promise under ‘CM Ladli Behana Yojana’ is almost double of what the Congress is offering,” the BJP leader explained.

Another reason is competitive politics. In Chhattisgarh, neither the BJP nor the Congress had offered any monetary allowance for women till the first phase of polling. Only a few days before the second phase of polling in the state did the BJP surprise all by announcing Rs 12,000 a year aid for women if it was voted to power. The ruling Congress was forced to follow suit two days before the second phase of polling, promising Rs 15,000 a year to women if it is voted to power.

In Madhya Pradesh, too, the Congress was the first to promise Rs 18,000 a year to women before CM Chouhan launched his ‘Ladli Behana Yojana’ on the same lines.

Telangana has seen the biggest monetary offer so far for women with the Congress promising Rs 30,000 a year which is even higher than the Rs 24,000 a year being given to women in Karnataka by the Congress. In Himachal Pradesh, which saw elections earlier this year, the Congress has started paying Rs 18,000 a year to women as per its poll promise.

“Himachal Pradesh was left in a severe fiscal deficit by the BJP… still Congress government is trying to fulfil its promise,” a state Congress leader told News18.

Overall, women are spoilt for choice in poll-bound states.