Dailybhaskar.com | Last Modified - Sep 05, 2011, 03:56 PM IST
New Delhi: A US cable published by the whistleblower website WikiLeaks with the title 'Portrait of a Lady' focuses on the analysis of political atmosphere in Uttar Pradesh and the lifestyle of Chief Minister Mayawati.
Mayawati poses herself as messiah of Dalits in India but sends her private jet to pick up a pair of sandals, according to leaked US diplomatic cables.
US embassy cables from 2007 to 2009 released by the WikiLeaks website calls Mayawati as "a first-rate egomaniac" who wants to rule India in the future.
The cable says according to Lucknow journalists, she employs nine cooks (two to cook, the others to watch over them) and two food tasters. She has become a virtual paranoid dictator replete with food tasters and a security entourage to rival a head of state.
According to the US cable, a wide range of business, political, academic and media contacts generally agreed that Mayawati and her Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have done little to promote development since her May 2007 election.
Below are some points highlighted by the US cable and published by WikiLeaks:
1. Mayawati has centralised corruption in her own hands and become a virtual paranoid dictator replete with food tasters and a security entourage to rival a head of state.
2. Civil servants do not speak to the press for fear of losing their positions.
3. 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.
4. Mayawati is obsessed with becoming Prime Minister and the BSP was even ready to spend huge sums in Lok Sabha polls in 2009.
5. All decisions must run through Mayawati or her very small coterie of advisors.
6. One Lucknow journalist related a story in which a State Minister was forced to do sit-ups in front of her as penance for not first asking permission to call on UP's governor.
7. Mayawati forced a civil servant to resign when she learned his daughter had joined the Congress Party in Delhi. Other than BSP stalwarts, none expressed an even begrudging approval of Mayawati's rule.
8. The law and order situation in the state had improved somewhat from the previous Samajwadi Party (SP) government of Mulayam Singh Yadav.
9. Mayawati has institutionalised corruption with competitive fealty payments to her replacing shootouts. Just to run as a BSP parliamentary candidate costs roughly 250,000 dollars. This does not ensure victory of course, but with the BSP likely to field candidates in over 300 constituencies nationally.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. Mayawati rarely speaks with the media and when she does hold a press conference, questions are not allowed.
14. 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.
15. 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.