THE SIGNIFICANCE OF U.P IN INDIA ELECTIONS { 124 images } Created 27 Apr 2009

For many elections after independence in 1947, Uttar Pradesh (U.P.) remained the most influencial to the formation of any government in New Delhi. It was, and remains, the largest contributor of parliamentarians to the Lok Sabha. The state controls 80 seats of the 545 in India's parliament, more than any other state in India. Any party that wins big number of votes there, can automatically win a bigger voice in National politics.

The growing clout of U.P's current chief minister, Mayawati has raised fear in everyone, especially the elite. She dreams of becoming India's first dalit prime-minister and it is impossible to ignore Mayawati as Uttar Pradesh holds 80 seats in the parliament. If she manages to win 40 odd seats, she could be swinging big deals her side. Her party wouldn't not win majority of votes in parliament, but both Congress and the BJP will have to rely on coalitions (just like 2 previous governments) and she will emerge to provide the majority and have enough clout to grab the prime minister job.

Since becoming the chief minister in 2007, Mayawati has launced large public works projects, the most visible is her idea of leaving of legacy in building monuments to glorify dalit leaders, and more ways to glorify the BSP. Though one hand, the people of UP suffer from abject poverty, but on the other, most of the state money is diverted towards creating her so called empire in Lucknow. She has transformed the public grounds and turned them into huge parks with structures and stone sculptures worth millions. Stone carvers are brought in from various parts of Rajasthan and UP to build these stone structures. There are hundreds of these structures under construction in UP, which could end up costing $250 million dollars of public money. There is a divided feeling. The dalits feel pride in what she is doing, whereas the middle class and the elites feel she is wasting all the tax payers money building these stone monstrocities.
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