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Mayawati's pillars of strength

April 30, 2009

Syed Firdaus Ashraf profiles the Queen's men who run Uttar Pradesh, and explains why they are so important to the chief minister.

Political parties needs both mass support and brains in the coterie to run it.

Unlike other political parties where its leaders are more than willing to appear before the media with their views, that is not true for the Bahujan Samaj Party.

BSP supremo Mayawati rules the party with an iron hand. No one is permitted to speak to the media without her permission.

Uttar Pradesh has been under Mayawati's rule for two years now, but the public still don't know who really runs the show.

Of the 200-plus BSP legislators and the huge state bureaucracy, only six privileged people can meet Mayawati without an appointment. The rest can only meet the chief minister when she summons them to her presence.

Image: Mayawati addresses a press conference in New Delhi. Photograph: Tanushree Punwani/Reuters.

Also see: 'Muslims are the next Dalits of India' | India Votes 2009