Mayawati Prabhu Das, commonly referred to as Mayawati or Kumari Mayawati, is a politician and president of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). She served as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh on four separate terms. She was the first female SC/ST Chief Minister in India.
Millions of Dalits view her as an icon, referring to her as Behen-ji which means ‘sister’ in Hindi.
Mayawati gained a reputation for efficient governance and promoting law and order in Uttar Pradesh, gaining praise even from the opposition and other rivals. Fewer riots, lowest number of rapes, and low levels of corruption occurred during her tenure in comparison to previous or successive governments. Uttar Pradesh even achieved an upwards of 17% GDP growth rate under her tenure.
Here are a list of achievements of Mayawati as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.
- I. Uttar Pradesh Land Acquisition Act 2011
- II. Yamuna Expressway
- III. First Solar Power Plant in State at Naini
- IV. Ambedkar Gramin Samagra Vikas Yojana
- V. Mahamaya Gareeb Arthik Madad Yojana
- VI. Financial Assistance Schemes to Girls
- VII. Nivesh Mitra
- VIII. 30% Reservations in Private Sector
- IX. Indian Grand Prix 2011
I. Uttar Pradesh Land Acquisition Act 2011
Mayawati’s government in Uttar Pradesh announced a land acquisition policy in 2011, in which land acquisition would only be done after signing an agreement with affected farmers.
There would be three categories of land acquisition under this policy. First, the government would acquire land for development projects such as construction of canals and roads. Second, The government would also acquire land for various government industrial development authorities in different districts. Third, private developers would buy land directly from farmers, and the government would act only as facilitators in case of commercial projects.
Additionally, private developers would also have to construct a school for farmers’ children.
II. Yamuna Expressway
The Yamuna Expressway was originally conceived in 2003, but the project could not be started as a result of a change in government in the state, as well as a lack of financial viability on part of the changing government. The project, however, was sanctioned for construction by the Mayawati government when she regained power in 2007.
The expressway is a 6-lane, extendable to 8 lanes, controlled-access expressway which is 205 kilometres long, and connects Greater Noida with the city of Agra in Uttar Pradesh. The project was implemented by Jaypee Group. The project was scheduled to be completed in 2010, but was only finished in 2012.
The Yamuna Expressway, though conceived and sanctioned by Mayawati’s government, was inaugurated by the Akhilesh Yadav government on 9th August 2012.
III. First Solar Power Plant in State at Naini
The Allahabad Solar Power Project is the first solar power plant in Uttar Pradesh, located at Naini which is about 25 kilometres from Allahabad. The project was taken up by EMC, a Kolkata based company in collaboration with the UP Power Corporation Ltd and the Poorvanjal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Ltd.
The estimated cost of this project was Rs. 800 crores, and the project took 7 years to complete. The total number of solar modules used is 21,300, which would continue to produce electricity even during overcast weather.
IV. Ambedkar Gramin Samagra Vikas Yojana
When Mayawati first came to power in 1995, she launched the Ambedkar Gram Vikas Yojana; a scheme aimed at providing basic infrastructure like roads, electricity and hand-pumps in Dalit-majority villages across Uttar Pradesh.
As of 2007, the rural integrated development programme covered 19,000 gram sabhas on the basis of SC/ST’s, minorities and backward classes.
Mayawati’s government introduced a modification to the scheme in 2007 called the Ambedkar Gramin Samagra Vikas Yojana, where the programme would cover all the Gram Sabhas on the basis of the general population rather than only SC/ST’s. This project was announced with an aim to boost the overall development in as many as 17,100 Gram Sabhas across the state.
The scheme would be implemented in five phases, in view of financial constraints, and development would be ensured in 380 rural as well as 23 urban Assembly constituencies alike.
V. Mahamaya Gareeb Arthik Madad Yojana
In a run up to the 2012 UP Assembly Elections, Mayawati launched the Mahamaya Gareeb Arthik Madad Yojana. The scheme aimed at providing Rs. 300, every month, to 31 lakh people below the poverty line (BPL) families of the state.
The scheme would fulfil the needs of 1.5 crore people in total and assistance would be given in two instalments every six months, according to the then Chief Minister.
This was the third scheme of financial assistance to be launched by the Mayawati government, the previous two being the Mahamaya Gareeb Balika Ashirwad Yojana and the Savitri Bai Phule Balika Shiksha Madad Yojana.
VI. Financial Assistance Schemes to Girls
In 2009, the UP government under Mayawati launched two schemes that took a record time of 20 days to be implemented. Both schemes were aimed at empowering girls in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
a. Mahamaya Gareeb Balika Aashirvad Yojana
Under this scheme, the government would make a fixed deposit (FD) of Rs. 22,000 in the form of National Savings Certificate (NSC) in the name of each girl born, on or after 15th January 2009, in a family living below the poverty line (BPL).
The only requirement was that the girl’s birth should have been registered and her parents ensure that she receives an education without getting married till the age of 18- post which, she would be eligible for Rs. 1 lakh from that FD.
b. Savithri Bai Phule Balika Shiksha Madad Yojana
Under this scheme, the government would give Rs. 25,000 and a bicycle each, to girls from families living below the poverty line. This scheme was available for girls between the classes of XI and XII.
VII. Nivesh Mitra
The government of Uttar Pradesh led by Mayawati launched Nivesh Mitra in 2007, which was an online investment-friendly, single-window clearance scheme to facilitate entrepreneurs in the state.
The objective of this scheme was to ease the process of setting up enterprises in the state by using advanced internet-based technology.
VIII. 30% Reservations in Private Sector
The Mayawati government, in August 2007, announced reservations in the private sector. The policy would be enforced on private entrepreneurs seeking special concessions for setting up new industrial or business units in the state.
These entrepreneurs would have to reserve 30% of the positions in their respective companies for three different categories of employees.
“This would be divided equally among SC/STs, OBCs and those belonging to the minority community, and the economically weak among the upper castes”, said Shashank Shekhar Singh; the then cabinet secretary.
IX. Indian Grand Prix 2011
The Mayawati government, in a public-private partnership with Jaypee Group successfully executed and delivered India’s first F1 Grand Prix in 2012. The event was held at Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida, which was designed by German architect, Hermann Tike and constructed by Jaypee Group.
The event was considered a massive success, as it helped salvage India’s prestige that was marred during the Common Wealth Games, 2010.
Mayawati is considered to be one of India’s most influential and powerful leaders, being a Dalit, and representing the interests of people belonging to Scheduled Castes and Tribes, minority communities and Other Backward Classes.
However, the increase in her personal wealth, and that of her party, has led many critics view it as signs of corruption.