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Mayawati Kumari

Mayawati Kumari Mystique Rejected by Voters

Mayawati Kumari 52%

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Ms. Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party won 21 seats. That is a gain on 19 in the last parliament but far behind the 50 predicted by some analysts. Even worse for Ms. Mayawati, her archrival in the state, the Samajwadi Party, scored 23 seats. The SP has been a key ally to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance coalition government for almost a year. Congress and the UPA delivered a resounding victory Saturday and will return to power when the next government is formed. That will rid Ms. Mayawati of the chance to be a potential coalition partner, a perch from which she intended to make a big play for the prime ministership. "It's a big setback for her," said Ajoy Bose, a biographer of Ms. Mayawati. "We are not happy," a Bahujan Samaj Party spokesman said, "we were expecting many seats." Ms. Mayawati has cancelled a planned visit to Delhi, the spokesman said. Ms. Mayawati, who is universally known as "Mayawati," is the chief minister of India's biggest state, Uttar Pradesh. She has risen to prominence as a champion of Dalits, the Indians at the bottom of the caste hierarchy also derisively known as untouchables. She had gained prominence over the past decade as a voice for the poor and disenfranchised, though she herself has become wealthy and powerful. She fought the election on a populist platform aimed at rural and poor voters hit by India's economic slowdown, and had made no secret of her desire to get her hands on the top job.



MAY 18, 2009, 11:51 A.M. ET

source: online.wsj.com


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