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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 11, 2007
BSP activists, supporters celebrate outside Mayawatis Lucknow residence
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BSP activists, supporters celebrate outside Mayawatis Lucknow residence

Celebrations were the order of the day at Bahujan Samaj Party bastions across Uttar Pradesh as drum beats mingled with the noise of firecrackers to celebrate the partys success in the UP Assembly elections.

Lucknow, May 11 : Celebrations were the order of the day at Bahujan Samaj Party bastions across Uttar Pradesh as drum beats mingled with the noise of firecrackers to celebrate the party's success in the UP Assembly elections.

Victory celebrations were held at the Mall Avenue residence of Mayawati. Party workers distributed sweets among themselves and to hordes of journalists. Elsewhere, BSP workers set off fireworks and broke into a dance. It is now all but certain that Mayawati will become Uttar Pradesh's Chief Minister for a fourth time.

The BSP today emerged as the single largest party in a fractured verdict in the Uttar Pradesh assembly. As per the Election Commission, the party has won 75 seats and is leading in 124 of the 402 seats up for grabs.

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 lung power 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 ponytailed 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.

ANI

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