The Chief Minister of India’s most populous state, Ms. Mayawati Kumari was on a roll for the last several years. The 53-year old was feaured on Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Women list and India’s national media began mentioning her name as a future candidate for Prime Minister. While she and her regional Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) had a strong grip on the state of Uttar Pradesh (U.P.) , the rest of the country did not seem to care much for her caste-based demagoguery.
Jackie Range of the Wall Street Journal declared hours ago Mayawati Mystique rejected by voters. So far it seems that the Congress Party and its UPA alliance have gained 10 parliamentary seats from Uttar Pradesh for a total showing of 19 out of 80. This is a state where many had written off the Congress party as a major force but it is also the state where party President Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi contest elections (both won).
U.P. is my home state and I was troubled in recent visits to see giant posters of her image on virtually every major intersection; in busy interactions would often have TWO billboards with her likeness. Major construction in the captial city of Lucknow seemed to focus on a cult of personalities promoted by her and her BSP. Since there were no state elections in UP at this time, her power on the state continues but clearly her ambitions for national office have been curtailed for now.