"I sincerely thank the women for turning up in large numbers for voting in the first phase of Bihar Assembly polls for that explains their craving for development and change...I appeal to them to exercise their franchise in even larger numbers in the remaining phases of the polls to ensure a change of guard in the state," she told reporters here.

"I am sure you (women) don't want a spectre of jungle raj to grip Bihar again," Irani said and promised that the BJP-led NDA government will ensure development and progress which has eluded the state for a long time.

Wooing the women voters, the Union HRD Minister quoted the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) to hit out at the Nitish Kumar government for deterioration in law and order situation in Bihar and said that rape cases had surged by 25 percent between 2012-14.

Outlining the Centre's commitments for empowerment of women, she cited that the Centre has kept pace with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's expectations by constructing toilets in government schools for benefit of girl students even as 30 lakh people have surrendered subsidized cooking gas connection so that women in rural areas can get LPG cooking gas cyclinder at subsidised rate and stop using fuel wood for cooking.

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