By Harshmeet Singh
Rags to riches story, self-obsession, endless controversies and much more, Mayawati’s life is a case study in itself. The Dalit icon and 4 times UP Chief Minister, Mayawati has made her mark in the state and national politics alike.
As she and her followers prepare to celebrate her 60th birthday today, NewsGram brings to you seven relatively unknown facts about the lady who once ruled UP with an iron hand.
- A WikiLeaks cable in 2011 alleged that she sent her private jet to Mumbai just to bring her a specific pair of sandals! She refused these allegations.
- After Kanshi Ram’s death, his family members wanted a post-mortem as they suspected foul play. Last year, his sister, Swarn Kaur accused Mayawati of murdering him. She said, “Kanshi Ram was a leader for you but he was a brother for me. Mayawati backstabbed him and destroyed his movement. She murdered him.”
The Forbes magazine named her the 59th most powerful women in the world in 2008! The Newsweek also called her the ‘Barack Obama of India’. P.V. Narsimha Rao, the former PM described her rise as the ‘miracle of democracy’.
- In 1977, the famed Dalit leader Kanshi Ram visited her home in Delhi while she was preparing for the Indian Administration Services examination. He allegedly told her, “I can make you such a big leader one day that not one but a whole row of IAS officers will line up for your orders.”
She has been notoriously known for spending fortunes on the statues of Kanshi Ram, herself and her party’s symbol, elephant! She justified the expenditure claiming that this needed to be done since the past governments neglected the Dalit icons! It is said that she spent close to $1 billion on 5 parks and memorials in Lucknow from 2007 to 2009.
- She has been known for grand birthday celebrations. Before her 47th birthday, her party workers collected Rs 4 crore from the public to celebrate her birthday with grandeur.
- To satisfy her supporter base, the Mayawati government, in 2007, introduced a 30% reservation in jobs in the private sector. Another quota law was brought in for promotions, but it was later quashed by the Supreme Court of India.