New York, Oct 15: US magazine Newsweek has listed Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati among eight women leaders worldwide who have reached the top despite all odds. The Bahujan Samaj Party chief, who swept the Assembly elections early this year with a rainbow coalition of Dalits, upper castes and Muslims, says in an interview to the magazine that her aim is to replicate the victory in the other states and prepare for the bigger struggle to capture power in New Delhi.
The BSP, she said, initially needed an aggressive approach to rally the poor Dalits.
"Political parties dominated by upper castes got alarmed by the rising masses. Their opposition cut short each of my first four stints as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and it became clear we needed to broaden the base to include the poor irrespective of caste or religion," she added.
She organized village-level amity meetings for the poor irrespective of caste or religion.
"Our efforts were met with calumny, attacks and lawsuits, but we struggled on, and prevailed in elections this May. For the first time in 17 years, a majority government led by a Dalit is in place in Uttar Pradesh," she adds.
Apart from Mayawati, others who write their success story include CEO of the French Energy Conglomerate Areva Anne Lauvergeon and Director General of World Health Organization Margaret Chan.