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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 11, 2007
Mayawati takes a dig at exit polls, credits people of UP for BSPs tremendous victory
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Mayawati takes a dig at exit polls, credits people of UP for BSPs tremendous victory

Taking a sarcastic dig at various exit polls that predicted a hung Assembly in Uttar Pradesh, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Mayawati said on Friday that her partys tremendous victory is the victory BSPs ideology of social inclusiveness and faith of the people of Uttar Pradesh in democracy.

Lucknow, May 11 : Taking a sarcastic dig at various exit polls that predicted a hung Assembly in Uttar Pradesh, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Mayawati said on Friday that her party's 'tremendous' victory "is the victory BSP's ideology of social inclusiveness and faith of the people of Uttar Pradesh in democracy."

Addressing a news conference at her party's office here, after securing a majority in the Assembly election, Mayawati said it was proud moment for her party and herself to know that Uttar Pradesh was finally coming out of nearly 14 years of coalition rule, and that the State would be governed by one party - the BSP.

"All credit for this should go to the people of the State, who appeared to be fed up of divisive politics, a system of governance that was guided by pulls and strings", she said, adding that the BSP would seek to provide "injustice free, corruption free, fear free governance that would strive for the development of the State.

Highlighting the rainbow social combination that she had been busy weaving in the past two years, it was symbolic to see her flanked by the BSP's national secretary Satish Chandra Mishra, a Brahmin leader, and BSP general secretary Nasimuddin Siddique, a Muslim leader.

Expressing thanks to her broadened support base that now include non-Jatav Dalits and some section of Other Backward Castes, Mayawati said, "Those political parties who asked for votes in the name of caste and religion have been decimated by the people of the State and have been given a befitting reply to all those mudslinging targeted at me during the campaigning."

She also had words of praise for the Election Commission (EC) and said that due to its non-partisan role, many Dalits were able to cast their votes this time, and this helped in restoring the people's faith in democracy.

Taking note of Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan's act of tearing government files inside the Assembly House, Mayawati said that the SP leader's act is a cause of serious concern and that a high level inquiry would be launched once she takes over as Chief Minister.

"All acts of political impropriety done by the former Samajwadi Party Government would be probed and it would not be done with the purpose of political vendetta," she said adding, "The people of UP have already punished and killed Samjawadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav and what should I do against a already dead person."

The BSP is set to form the next government in the State and Mayawati is set to become the Chief Minister of the State for the fourth time. She has been at the State's top post three times earlier -- briefly in 1995 and 1997, and from 2002 to 2003 with the support of the BJP.

This time she has not contested any Assembly seat.

Her first Lok Sabha membership came in 1989and is presently representing UP in the Rajya Sabha.

It has taken Mayawati 23 years to rise from a largely unknown entity to being queen for a fourth time of Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state.

In 1984, the BSP was born, and few then gave the party that aggressively championed the Dalit cause a great future. Mayawati had just resigned as a teacher from a state owned school in Delhi. Nobody knew her.

Daughter of a telecommunication employee, she initially wanted to be a district magistrate. She passed out from the universities of Delhi and Meerut, studying law and then a course in teaching.

BSP founder leader Kanshi Ram spotted Mayawati and decided to groom her for much greater things.

Mayawati proved to be more than a good pupil. A powerful speaker in Hindi, she combined her boundless energy and her commitment to Dalit society to unleash a campaign against the upper castes.

It helped that she was a Jatav, the most upwardly mobile sect among Dalits. She used her lungpower to thunder before tens of thousands that she was a Dalit and proud to be one.

She mesmerized millions of Dalits and even Muslims in Uttar Pradesh, most of whom deserted the Congress, a party they had supported for decades.

As the first Dalit to run a state in India in 1995, she refused to compromise on her pro-Dalit stance. The 1995 stint lasted just four months. She came back to power in 1997, and that ended in six months.

'Bahenji', or Sister as Mayawati was known by then, had become an icon of Dalit politics. She returned for a third time as chief minister in 2002, and ruled for a year. By then, the once oily plaited and pony tailed woman had switched over to bobbed hair. She dressed well. Somewhere along the road she even eclipsed Kanshi Ram, whose death left her the supreme master of BSP.

She bought a bungalow near New Delhi's diplomatic enclave. But she still avoided the media and the upper crust - unless she needed them.

Her 2003 birthday in Lucknow was a gala affair, involving a 51 kg cake, 100,000 ladoos, 60 quintals of marigold flowers and 5,000 bouquets.

Corruption charges followed. But Mayawati only grew in popularity, deftly dropping her anti-upper caste vitriol in a bid to embrace everyone to build a large social umbrella like the Congress had for decades.

This has made Mayawati the leader that she always dreamt of being when she first came to power.


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