Pundits are attributing the victory largely to the way Mayawati, who till now despised upper castes, courted them. The old slogan of her party, Bahujan Samajwadi Party, was "tilak, taraju aur talwar, maro unko jhoote char" (Beat up Brahmins, Vaishyas and Kshatriyas). This time round it was "Haati nahin Ganesh hai... Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh hai" (It is not the elephant but Lord Ganesh, symbolising all gods and communities).
We only know the number of people who voted for Mayawati. We will never why they voted. That's always a matter of debate. Pity if a lot of upper caste people voted for Mayawati because she gave tickets to workers belonging to their caste.
Caste rather than development parameters, decide winners in India. We have perpetuated an illusion that a segmented growth pattern on caste lines can see the nation develop. Whatever progress we have made is not because of anyone's caste but because individuals -- of all castes -- have striven against odds and put their talent to good use.
In India, it is not "development" that's the poll plank, but "lack of development". So much so that "lack of development" has become one of the most entrenched vested interests. This is the reason why any development plan is stridently opposed by the political class. This could also be the reason why no one understood young Rahul Gandhi's development pitch, and also why very few voted for his party, Congress.
After so many years, Uttar Pradesh, has a single-party government. The last time was when N D Tiwari headed a Congress government from June 25, 1988 to Dec 5, 1989. Congress never recovered after that; not even now. After that, we have had so many experiments in coalitions: governance by coalition getting overshadowed by governance of coalition.
Hopefully, now Mayawati will not be under coalition compulsions, and will be able to raise politics from its shameful standards to respectable heights. Don't underestimate Mayawati. She has an impressive biodata.
-- Mayawati's biodata
-- Mayawati's social mix