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Mayawati (full name: Mayawati Prabhu Das, commonly known as Kumari Mayawati (Miss Mayawati), born 15 January 1956) or the Iron Lady Mayawati is an Indian politician who served four terms as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh (UP) as national president of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which focuses on a platform of social change to improve the welfare of the weakest strata of Indian society — the Bahujans or Dalits, Other Backward Classes, and religious minorities. She was Chief Minister briefly in 1995 and again in 1997, then from 2002 to 2003 and from 2007 to 2012.

Mayawati's rise from humble beginnings has been called a "miracle of democracy" by P. V. Narasimha Rao, former Prime Minister of India. In 1993 Kanshi Ram formed a coalition with the Samajwadi Party and Mayawati became the youngest Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh in 1995. She was the first female Dalit Chief Minister in India. In 1997 and in 2002 she was Chief Minister in outside support of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the second time only for a year up to 26 August 2003 due to BJP withdrawing support.

Those who left the party earlier included Kanshiram’s loyalists Raj Bahadur, Dinanath Bhaskar and Daddu Prasad. Sonelal Patel, Jugal Kishore and Babu Singh Kushwaha were the others to leave the party because of Mayawati’s “arrogant and greedy” ways. Mayawati's tenure has attracted praise and controversy. Millions of Dalits view her as an icon, and refer to her as Behen-ji (sister). She has been praised for her fundraising efforts on behalf of her party and her birthdays have been widely celebrated by her supporters. The rise in her personal wealth and that of her party have been criticised as indicative of corruption.

Dinanath Bhaskar and Raj Bahadur were senior leader than Mayawati but Mayawati suppressed them .Both Dinanath Bhaskar and Raj Bahadur hold major Ministries in 1993 SP-BSB Government.

In 2008, Forbes added Mayawati in the 59th place on its list of the 100 most powerful women in the world. She appeared in Newsweeks top woman achievers list in 2007. Newsweek also described her as the Barack Obama of India, and a potential candidate for Prime Minister. Time magazine included Mayawati in India's 15 Most Influential list for 2007.

After losing the 2012 legislative assembly elections to the rival Samajwadi Party, she resigned from her post as party leader on 7 March 2012. Later that month she was elected by acclamation to a seat in the Rajya Sabha (upper house of Parliament).