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Mayawati to visit Odisha on March 23

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Sambalpur, Mar 16:

President of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Mayawati is scheduled to arrive here on March 23 to campaign for her party candidates in the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Odisha in April.Chief Minister, Uttar PradeshAge: 51The feisty and single Kumari is the first untouchable, or Dalit, woman to become the head of an Indian state, and this is her fourth term in office. She was mentored by the crafty Kanshi Ram, who founded and headed the Bahujan Samaj Party in India's largest and most politically influential state, Uttar Pradesh, which is also among the poorest. Mayawati has modernized along the way. She now sports a short haircut, wears big diamond studs in her ears and nose, and attracted unwanted attention for her extravagant 47th birthday party in 2003, which featured 100,000 sweet cakes, 5,000 bouquets of flowers, and a 50kg birthday cake. She has also often been accused of grand corruption: Last year she tried to sell the land around the famous Taj Mahal to set up tourism and pocket the proceeds. New Delhi slapped corruption charges on her that she is still fighting. In June, she declared assets worth $13 million, 400% more than at the time of the 2004 elections.

Speaking on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Kansiram Saheb here yesterday, BSP national general secretary and Odisha in-charge Dharamvir Singh Ashok said his party has decided to contest all the 147 Assembly and 21 Lok Sabha seats for which it would announce the list of candidates on Sunday.

Coming down heavily on the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD government, he said the state government has ignored the plight of the poor and the dalits as its entire focus is on industrialization.

“The poor, dalits and the minorities would be given equal rights and justice if the BSP comes to power”, he said.