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What is Mayawati up to?

By Nazarwala
June 17, 2009 15:13 IST
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Mayawati, Fortune's Child, currently confronts electoral misfortune. Destiny played a major role in propelling the Dalit leader into the Uttar Pradesh chief minister's chair for the fourth time. Mayawati mistook such good luck for her genius and sanity.

She had big dreams. 'If I K Gujral, Deve Gowda and Chandra Shekhar could become prime minister, why not me?' mused Mayawati. Everyone else thought it an unrealistic dream.

She executed her entire election campaign months in advance. She personally hand-picked candidates, launched her campaign all over the country, flaunting her Dalit birth as her major qualification for the prime minister's chair.

She abused the phenomenal public and Dalit trust that ensured victory in the 2007 assembly election. Mayawati thought surrounding herself with her mafia 'navratnas' would guarantee her personal safety, security and eventual electoral victory. This was a myopic approach. Certainly, not a sane leader's thoughtful move at all.

Mayawati has pockmarked the once beautiful city of Lucknow with dozens of huge and hideous statues of elephants in addition to her own larger-than-life ones. She has squandered hundreds of millions of rupees in the process.

Bad governance flourished. The mafia was glorified. There was zero public access to the chief minister. No one else has been allowed to blossom under this banyan tree.

Therefore, no one other than Mayawati is responsible for her shattered dreams. (I had predicted her defeat in strong words in a column titled 'Mayawati will be shocked on 16th May').

Someone has to be made a scapegoat for her disastrous debacle. Fairness and honesty be damned. A good leader owns up sole responsibility, especially for failure. Had Mayawati done honest introspection and accepted responsibility for her party's failure, all would have appreciated her honesty for once.

By refusing to gracefully accept defeat, Mayawati exhibited her woeful lack of political maturity and leadership qualities. Contrast this with what Lalu Yadav did. Nowadays, an enraged Madam has gone berserk.

She has mercilessly sacked the heads of all government bodies en masse, holding them responsible for the poor election results. Bureaucrats have been transferred recklessly, throwing all sane administrative norms to the wind. Her closest and senior-most BSP leader Swami Prasad Maurya has been humiliated and booted out. Another influential minister is publicly abused.

All ministers and MLAs are minions, apprehending the boot any moment. She accuses them of corruption.

Old BSP admirers miss her mentor -- the wise, practical, simple, honest and sane Kanshi Ram. His protegee is just the opposite. But the old coterie around Mayawati is unaffected. Vijay Pandey, Satish Mishra, Shashank Singh, Atul Gupta continue to flourish.

The judiciary is the only hope and refuge left for Mayawati's victims.

Some 20,000 police constables who were dismissed got judicial relief as did thousands of poor farmers whose farmlands were to be swallowed up for her expressway projects.

Her disproportionate assets case is in the Supreme Court. It took a trip to jail for former prime minister Indira Gandhi to recover in the late 1970s. Will Mayawati's story be the same?

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