Wednesday, March 14, 2012

[ZESTCaste] Mayawati to run for Indian parliament's upper house

13 March 2012 Last updated at 07:34 GMT

Mayawati to run for Indian parliament's upper house

India's low-caste Dalit icon Mayawati is preparing to run for the
Rajya Sabha, the upper house of parliament.

Ms Mayawati recently quit as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh state
after her party's poor showing in crucial assembly elections there.

She filed her nomination papers in the state capital, Lucknow. Voting
is due to be held on 30 March.

Rajya Sabha MPs are elected by state legislative assembly members and
their term is for six years.

Fifty-eight members to the 250-seat Rajya Sabha are up for election
across the country.

Last week, Ms Mayawati resigned as the chief minister of India's most
populous state, saying the results did not favour her party.

The regional Samajwadi Party took 224 seats out of the 403 in Uttar
Pradesh's legislative assembly, while Ms Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj
Party was a distant second with 80 seats.

Ms Mayawati is a controversial politician who is famous for building
statues of herself and other figures from the Dalit community.

A large numbers of statues commissioned by Ms Mayawati can be seen in
Lucknow and other towns and cities of Uttar Pradesh.

In the run-up to the polls, the election commission ordered the
statues and symbols to be draped. They were unveiled once the polls
were completed on 3 March.

In September, leaked US diplomatic cables said Ms Mayawati had sent an
empty private jet to fetch a pair of sandals from Mumbai - a charge
she strongly denied.

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