Odisha politics may witness a race to win over female voters in 2024

Bhubaneswar: A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that women were the silent voters of the BJP and helped the NDA retain power in Bihar, the party’s Odisha unit appears to be planning to attract women voters as part of his strategy for the 2024 general elections in the state.

For the ruling BJD in Odisha, women voters have always proven to be an important factor in winning back-to-back elections. During the recent move to the Assembly constituencies of Balasore Sadar and Tirtol, the women’s electorate proved once again that it was a game changer for the BJD.

It is worth mentioning that the State has over 70 billion Self Help Group (SHG) members and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has been able to gain their support with various announcements along with the easy loan facility. In addition, CM Naveen had raised the question of the 33 percent reserve for women in Parliament and presented the same percentage of female candidates from his party during the 2019 elections.

While political experts feel that it would be difficult for the BJP to come to power in Odisha without gaining the trust of women voters in the state, the saffron party claims that its development policy will help them defeat the ruling party.

The BJP will reach out to state voters and the party is confident that its development policy will defeat the policy of giving money to SHGs, said BJP state secretary general Lekhasri Samantsinghar.

BJP leader Amar Satpathy admitted the claims, saying: “Our base is women voters in Odisha. We have received their support due to the party’s continued efforts and its work for the empowerment of women in the state.”

Meanwhile, journalist Sandeep Sahu said that women voters are the reason behind the BJD’s back-to-back victory and that the party continues to receive their overwhelming support. “Without the support of women voters, BJP will never be able to fulfill its dream of ruling Odisha,” he added.

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