Family history: Mayawati, the Dalit icon, was born in a middle class family of Prabhu Das and Ramrati.
She studied in a government school while her brothers were sent to private schools. Mayawati graduated in B.A. In 1975 from Kalindi College, Delhi University and pursued LLB in 1983 from DU.
She was simultaneously preparing for the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) exams, until one day, Dalit politician Kanshi Ram visited her home in 1977 and told her, "I can make you such a big leader one day that not one but a whole row of IAS officers will line up for your orders."
Subsequently, she was inducted into the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), founded by Kanshi Ram in 1984.
Political career: Since 1984, there has been no looking back for Mayawati, who has been the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, four times.
In Uttar Pradesh, Mayawati-led BSP is the main rival of Mulayam Singh Yadav's Samajwadi Party.
Mayawati has advocated her support in favour of reservation for the lower and backward castes.
Her party workers and millions of Dalit supporters call her as "Behenji".
1989- She was elected as the representative for Bijnor.
1994- First elected to the Rajya Sabha of Uttar Pradesh
1995- Became first Dalit chief minister of UP.
1997- Again became chief minister of UP.
2002-03- Third time, became chief minister of UP.
2007- Won assembly elections in UP and was sworn in as UP CM for the fourth time on May 13, 2007. During her tenure, she strived to convert UP into "Uttam Pradesh" (excellent province).
2011- Mayawati- led BSP cabinet approved the division of Uttar Pradesh into four different smaller states for better governance.
2012- Her party failed to retain power in the assembly elections and she resigned as CM on March 13, 2012.
Other issues: Her political career has seen lots of positives and negatives. Some of the issues that have drawn criticism are Taj Corridor case, her grand birthday celebrations, disproportionate assets case, too many statues erections all over UP, among others.