Kumari Mayawati is an Indian politician heading the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). She has served as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh four times. She has been an important member of Bahujan Samaj Party since its inception in 1984 and is now serves as the president of the party.
Personal and Professional Background
Mayawati was born in Delhi’s Shrimati Sucheta Kriplani Hospital on 15 January 1956. Her mother’s name is Ram Rati. Her father Prabhu Das was a postal employee at Badalpur in Gautam Buddha Nagar. In 1975, she completed her B.A. degree from Kalindi Women’s College which comes from the Delhi University. In 1976, she earned a B.Ed. from VMLG College, Ghaziabad. Thereafter, she did her LL.B. from Delhi University in 1983.
Entry in Politics
After completing her B.Ed. course, Mayawati started teaching students in her neighbourhood and was also preparing for the IAS exams at that time. Sometime in 1977, the well-known Dalit politician Kanshi Ram happened to pay a visit to her family in their house.
He was impressed by Mayawati’s speaking prowess and ideas and motivated her to join politics. In 1984, Kanshi Ram founded the Bahujan Samaj Party and included her as its member. This marked her first formal step in Indian politics.
Wikileaks disclosed that she once sent a private jet to Mumbai to retrieve a pair of sandals. Also, she had employed food tasters for security.
Controversies Surrounding Mayawati
- In 2002, the Central Bureau of Investigation raided her house, along with a few others, suspecting financial irregularities in the project related to the Taj Heritage Corridor.
- However, in June 2007 the then Governor T.V. Rajeswar declared that there was no substantial evidence against her. The Supreme Court also rejected CBI’s plea in this matter and did not agree to direct the Governor to prosecute Mayawati.
- The CBI filed a case against her for holding disproportionate assets not concomitant with her formal sources of income. Mayawati and the party claimed that her income included gifts and contributions made by supporters and party members. The Delhi High Court dismissed the appeal filed against Mayawati by the union government on 3 August 2011. It stated that she had fully disclosed the identities of the donors and supporters. On 6 July 2012, the Supreme Court of India quashed the case. Finally, on 8 October 2013, the CBI closed the case.
- During her tenure as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, Mayawati erected several statues of icons of Buddhism, Hinduism and Dalits and also herself. She was criticized for this and for wasting the taxpayer’s money.