WikiLeaks leaks cable about “Mayawati”
Rejecting the unflattering picture of her painted by US diplomatic cables, UP chief minister Mayawati on Tuesday hit out at WikiLeaks owner Julian Assange, calling him a madman who should be locked up in a mental asylum. She also accused Assange of being an anti-dalit backed by her political rivals.
Media has only been concerned with the “footwear” and “jet-plane” issue. But there is lot more that Indian Media has not revealed. We request you to read by yourself and you would sure know what actually the world knows about U.P. C.M. Mayawati while Indians are unaware of.
The real (unedited) cables from WikiLeaks directly:
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 NEW DELHI 002783
DEPARTMENT FOR SCA/INS
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/25/2017
TAGS: PGOV PREL SOCI PINR KISL IN
SUBJECT: MAYAWATI: PORTRAIT OF A LADY
REF: A. NEW DELHI 2012
¶B. NEW DELHI 825
Classified By: A/PolCouns Pushpinder Dhillon for Reasons 1.4 (B, D)
¶1. (C) Summary: Poloff traveled to three cities in Uttar Pradesh (UP) during the week of October 13-17 to gauge the political state of play. A wide range of business, political, academic and media contacts generally agreed that Chief Minister Mayawati and her Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have done little to promote development since her May 2007 election. According to several journalists, the law and
order situation in UP has improved only in that Mayawati has centralized corruption in her own hands. She has become a virtual paranoid dictator replete with food tasters and a security entourage to rival a head of state. Civil servants will not speak to the press for fear of losing their positions. Journalists admitted they feared retribution should they print anything negative about Mayawati. One
journalist claimed that all civil servants’ and most journalists’ phones are tapped. Politically, contacts noted that while Mayawati’s support from Brahmins and Muslims may be waning, she remains extremely popular with her Dalit vote base. Mayawati is obsessed with becoming Prime Minister and the BSP will spend huge sums in next year’s national polls.
With all signs pointing to another coalition government in Delhi, Mayawati could be a powerbroker and perhaps even a king (or queen) maker. End Summary.
¶4. (C) Mayawati’s full majority victory in May 2007 UP State
Assembly elections left her beholden to no one and has allowed her to act on her eccentricities, whims and insecurities. When she needed new sandals, her private jet flew empty to Mumbai to retrieve her preferred brand. According to Lucknow journalists, she employs nine cooks (two to cook, the others to watch over them) and two food tasters. She fears assassination and demanded from the central government the highest level of protection available. In addition to this outsized security apparatus, she constructed a private road from her residence to her office, which is cleaned immediately after her multiple vehicle convoy reaches its destination. India has seen such political personalities before, and never failed to deal with them eventually at the ballot box.
¶5. (C) Mayawati rarely speaks with the media and when she does hold a press conference, questions are not allowed. More worrying, Lucknow journalists claimed the government has tapped their phones as well as those of civil servants. Most civil servants now refuse to talk to the press. Reporters fear losing their jobs should they print anything negative about Mayawati. Caving to political pressure, the Hindustan Times removed its Lucknow correspondent after she published a satirical piece about the Chief Minister. The newspaper’s
owners also operate sugar mills and chemical factories in UP.
Caste Politics Dominates
¶6. (C) Comment: A coalition of Dalits and Brahmins (and a small percentage of Muslims) elected Mayawati in 2007.
Dalits will remain with Mayawati regardless of poor governance, simply because the fact that one of their own is Chief Minister provides them heretofore unimaginable pride.
With the virtual collapse of the Congress Party and the weakening of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in UP over the last several years, the higher castes fled to the BSP to end the lawlessness of the SP’s rule. But after more than a year, only a narrow sliver of Brahmins who are close to Mayawati’s Brahmin advisor (and virtual number two), Satish Mishra, have seen any return for their support. They could go back to the Congress or the BJP. Though the Congress Party secured the support of the SP for the June 22 confidence vote over the Indo-US civil nuclear initiative (Ref A), the two parties appear to be making little headway yet in reaching a seat-sharing agreement for UP. If the parties form a strong alliance, they can credibly challenge the BSP. However, if terrorist bombings continue, many Hindus will likely polarize to the BJP and Muslims will flock back to their traditional SP home. In this case the SP would see little to gain from a pre-poll alliance with Congress and would prefer to play the field.
¶7. (C) Comment Continued: As for Mayawati’s dream of becoming Prime Minister, the most plausible scenario would entail weak performances nationwide by both the Congress Party and the BJP and a strong showing by Mayawati and other regional parties. This would allow the BSP to dictate terms of a third front (non-Congress, non-BJP) coalition in Delhi.
While inflation, development and terrorism will be the “issues” in the coming national polls, caste remains the DNA of UP politics, and no one has demonstrated more ability at playing caste politics than Mayawati. End Comment.
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