India politics: Mayawati's wealth doubles in five years

Ms Mayawati
Image caption Ms Mayawati is now preparing for a run at the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of parliament

India's controversial low-caste Dalit leader Mayawati has more than doubled her wealth in the last five years.

In an affidavit she filed for a run at parliament's upper house, her assets were valued at $22.35m (£14.2), making her one of India's richest politicians.

Until last week, Ms Mayawati was chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, one of India's least-developed states.

She quit after her party's poor performance in the recent state assembly elections.

In 2007, when she was elected chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, her wealth was put at $10.42m.

She is now preparing to run for the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of Indian parliament.

The information about her financial assets was revealed on Tuesday when she filed her nomination papers in Lucknow, capital of Uttar Pradesh.

Rajya Sabha MPs are elected by state legislative assembly members and their term is for six years.

Voting is due to be held on 30 March.


Ms Mayawati's latest acquisition is a sprawling bungalow in Lucknow which is valued at $3.14m.

She also owns jewellery and diamonds worth $193,583 and a revolver worth $108.

Ms Mayawati is a controversial politician who is famous for building statues of herself and other figures from the Dalit community.

A large numbers of statues commissioned by Ms Mayawati can be seen in Lucknow and elsewhere in Uttar Pradesh.

In September, leaked US diplomatic cables said Ms Mayawati had sent an empty private jet to fetch a pair of sandals from Mumbai - a charge she strongly denied.

She is an icon to millions of Dalits (formerly known as Untouchables), most of whom are poor.

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