New Delhi: In a major embarrassment for Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, one of her top aide had described her as a person with a “penchant for personal corruption” and “a strong authoritarian streak”, reports claimed on Tuesday.
According to a secret US embassy cable accessed and published by the whistle blowing website WikiLeaks, BSP general secretary and Rajya Sabha MP Satish Chandra Mishra had made this utterance about her party chief during a meeting with US Embassy officials.
The cable, which was sent on May 29, 2007, described Mishra as “Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister’s right hand man” who is “fluent in English and serves as the principal interlocutor between the US Embassy and the BSP. He has graciously hosted Embassy officers at his house”.
The secret cable, which was sent just 16 days after Mayawati took oath as Chief Minister on May 13, 2007, states that Mishra “has been forthright and frank in his discussions, even to the point of acknowledging Mayawati’s penchant for personal corruption and her strong authoritarian streak.”
The cable also revealed that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister had very weak English language skills and limited exposure to non-Indians and that she was entirely uncomfortable interacting with Americans.
The cable further stated that BSP chief preferred to use Mishra as her translator and a future one-to-one meeting between Mayawati and the US Ambassador cannot be ruled out.
The cable also revealed that Mishra is preparing to launch his son as his likely successor in the BSP ranks and had already constructed an office for his son in a sprawling office-residential complex.
The secret US cable projected Mishra as the “mastermind of UP social engineering” and someone who played an instrumental role in garnering the support of Brahmins, who command 13 per cent of the vote in UP.
The cable described Mishra as the chief architect of the BSP’s Brahmin-Dalit card to tilt the political balance in favor of the BSP”.
According to the cable, Mishra tirelessly toured the state in 2005 advising Brahmins to recognize that they were a powerful vote bank and urging them to unite behind Mayawati. Mishra, who traveled 22,000 km across the 70 districts of Uttar Pradesh holding BSP Brahmin Sammelans (conventions) between July 1, 2006 and September 15, 2006, emerged as the principal architect of the Brahmin project.”
The cable also stated that Mayawati rewarded Mishra by inducting him into her cabinet “without a specific portfolio. Part of Mayawati’s inner circle, Mishra spends time with her and her family on birthdays and holidays. It is reported that Mayawati not only allows Mishra to share the stage with her, but also to interject when she is talking, something no one else in the BSP would dare. Anyone else upstaging Mayawati would be immediately dealt with and disciplined.”
Another cable dated May 22, 2007, however, describes Mishra as one of Mayawati’s three powerful advisers. “Mayawati does not take major decisions without first consulting Satish Chandra Mishra (a Brahmin), Nasimuddin Siddiqui (a Muslim), and Babu Singh Khushwaha (a lower caste Hindu).”
A third cable sent on October 9, 2007, however, signaled a rift between Mishra and Mayawati.
Meanwhile, Mishra has strongly refuted the claims made by WikiLeaks and warned that he will take legal action against the whistle-blowing website.
Speaking to reporters, Mishra said, “I have never said anything which has been published by WikiLeaks about my party chief and Uttar Pradesh chief Minister. I suspect this is a political conspiracy to create an environment of distrust inside the party at a time when assembly elections are not too far.”
“I will pursue this case till end and take legal action in this regard,” he added.