In the Uttar Pradesh
Elections, 2007, Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party achieved unexpected
majority status leading to her emergence as the chief minister of
Uttar Pradesh. This is the first time, since 1991 victory of the
Bharatiya Janata Party with a majority, that a single party has
gained absolute majority; the last two decades having been mostly
dominated by various coalitions among the Samajwadi Party, Bharatiya
Janata Party, and the Bahujan Samaj Party. One characteristic of the
BSP win in 2007 was the amalgamation of Brahmin votes into the Dalit
dominated party, as opposed to the decades-old trend of deep-rooted
electoral divisions in the state between Dalits, Upper Castes,
Muslims and different OBC groups, which tend to vote in blocks.
Mayawati, having won 206 seats, took the oath of secrecy for the
post of UP's next CM on 13 May 2007. She became Chief Minister for
the fourth time. Along with her 19 cabinet rank ministers, 21 State
Ministers Independent Charge were also sworn in by T.V. Rajeshwar
the Governor. Some of the prominent names are: Nasimuddin Siddique,
Rakesh Dhar Tripathi, Awadhpal Singh, Ratanlal Ahirwar, Badshah
Singh, Sudhir Goyal, Babu Singh Kushwaha. Former Chief Minister
Mulayam Singh Yadav's SP party stood second in State with 97 seats.
The image of politics in Uttar Pradesh has been tarnished in recent
times by the extensive infiltration of people who are alleged to
carry a questionable reputation or are prone to incite violence.
But, in the last election, the Election Commission of India was
perceived as having effectively managed to prevent booth-capturing
and other abuse, by deployment of extremely strict security.
The state has a glorious record of providing national leadership;
eight of India's fourteen Prime Minister's were from Uttar Pradesh.
They are: Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi,
Rajiv Gandhi, Choudhary Charan Singh, Vishwanath Pratap Singh,
Chandra Shekhar and Atal Behari Vajpayee, who represents a UP
constituency, though he was born in Gwalior.
Contemporary political scene is also interesting in the national
context. Heirs-apparent to the Nehru-Gandhi family have adopted U.P.
as their home state. Congress President Sonia Gandhi represents Rae
Bareli and her son Rahul Gandhi Amethi, Sultanpur. Indira Gandhi's
estranged daughter-in-law Maneka Gandhi is a BJP Parliamentarian
from Pilibhit, while her son Varun Gandhi is expected to make his
debut soon. Other prominent politicians include BJP leader and past
Human Resources Development minister Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi, SP
leader and ex-Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, BSP leader and now
fourth time Chief Minister Mayawati, BJP President and ex-Chief
Minister Rajnath Singh, former BJP Chief Minister Kalyan Singh,
Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Ajit Singh and ex-Chief Minister of Uttar
Pradesh and later of Uttarakhand, Narayan Dutt Tiwari.
At the lowest tier of political pyramid, the state has a large
number of village councils known as Panchayats just like the other
states of India. One of the most developed Panchayats is Shahabad in
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