Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader and Uttar Pradesh Governor Mayawati, erupting in one of her characteristic bursts of anger today, proclaiming WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange “insane” for daring to release State Department cables critical of her.
Mayawati was mentioned in several of the cables, mostly over the political implications of her caste-based party and her pledges to openly discriminate against other castes once elected. After her election the cables shift to internal political struggles, but also detail her notorious corruption.
The one that seems to have really angered her however was 08NEWDELHI2783 entitled “Mayawati: Portrait of a Lady” which noted that since her election Uttar Pradesh had stabilized “only in that Mayawati has centralized corruption in her own hands.”
Terming her a “virtual paranoid dictator,” the cable is mostly explanatory rather than aimed at revealing corruption that wasn’t already public knowledge. It did reveal some rather silly incidents which never made into the mainstream Indian press, including her demand that a State Minister who visited her unannounced do sit-ups in front of her as “penance” and her decision, when she needed new sandals, to send a private jet to Mumbai to get her favorite brand.
While these are certainly interesting Mayawati wasn’t exactly thought to be a spendthrift, ordering massive statues of herself built around the impoverished state, and the corruption within her administration was already the stuff of legends.
Still, Mayawati demanded that Assange be turned over to Uttar Pradesh officials where he would be placed in one of the state-run insane asylums. Though no one seriously expects this to happen it might raise the question of exactly how many of her local critics have already found themselves locked up in this manner.