Assange belongs in mental asylum, says angry Mayawati

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Lucknow:  The Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh has said that either Julian Assange is mentally ill, or he is being used by Opposition parties to target her via WikiLeaks.

"We can make room for him in the Agra mental asylum," said Ms Mayawati, at a press conference today.

A series of diplomatic cables uploaded onto WikiLeaks say that the Americans believed that Mayawati functions as a dictator dogged with eccentric paranoia. It also claims that Mayawati's top aide Satish Mishra told US officials that the UP Chief Minister has a "penchant for personal corruption" and "a strong authoritarian streak".  (Read: WikiLeaks cable on Mayawati aide Satish Mishra)

Satish Mishra, who is a senior leader of Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party, has denied meeting any US official in 2007 and plans to move court against what he calls a "conspiracy against the BSP ahead of the 2012 polls." Elections are due in Uttar Pradesh next year.

His leader stood stoutly by him. "Certain statements about me attributed by WikiLeaks to my two trusted men - Satish Chandra Misra and Shashank Shekhar Singh - were also evidently motivated with petty politics...As a befitting reply to all those who were behind this conspiracy, let me make it loud and clear that all this has only prompted me to give both of them greater importance in my scheme of things," Ms Mayawati declared.

She took extreme umbrage at one cable, dated October 2008, quoting journalists and other people interviewed informally by American political officers in UP as saying that she had sent a private jet to Mumbai to bring back her preferred brand of sandals. (Read: WikiLeaks - Mayawati's 'eccentric paranoia') The same cable, sent when David C Mulford was US Ambassador, said that many people recounted that Mayawati hired as many as nine cooks and two tasters to ensure her food was not poisoned. (Read the entire cable here)

The UP chief minister had a very Mayawati-like retort as she rubbished this. "As far as I am concerned, I do not know of any such thing. But if WikiLeaks and BJP leaders are making such a wild claim, then I would like to ask them if they also flew down in that plane to get me those special sandals?" And, "The politicians who have said that I have 9 cooks appear to be washing dishes in my house, that is why they claim to have such detailed knowledge of what happens there."

She saw political conspiracy in what she said was "the smirk on the face of BJP leader Muqtar Abbas Naqvi." Opposition leaders, she said, "getting cheap thrills out of the Wikileaks cables shows that the opposition parties are in league with Wikileaks, obviously with the sole intent of tarnishing my image."

(With IANS inputs)



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