DEPT FOR SCA/INS, DRL, INR/B
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/29/2017
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL PINR IN
SUBJECT: BIOGRAPHY: SATISH CHANDRA MISHRA, BAHUJAN SAMAJ PARTY GENERAL SECRETARY
Classified By: Deputy PolCouns Atul Keshap for reasons 1.4 (B,D)
UTTAR PRADESH CHIEF MINISTER'S RIGHT HAND MAN
1. (C) Satish Chandra Mishra, Member of Parliament (MP) from Uttar Pradesh (UP) in the Rajya Sabha (Upper House) and General Secretary of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), is widely acknowledged to be the right hand man of Mayawati, the new powerful BSP Chief Minister (CM) of UP. She inducted him into her Cabinet without a specific portfolio. Part of Mayawati's inner circle, Mishra spends time with her and her family on birthdays and holidays. It is reported that Mayawati not only allows Mishra to share the stage with her, but also to interject when she is talking, something no one else in the BSP would "dare." Anyone else upstaging Mayawati would be immediately dealt with and disciplined.
MASTERMIND OF UP SOCIAL ENGINEERING
2. (C) The architect of the BSP,s experiment in social engineering, Mishra advocated targeting Brahmins, who command 13 per cent of the vote in U.P., in addition to the 21 per cent strong lower caste electorate to tilt the political balance in favor of the BSP. Now with 42 Brahmin state assembly legislators and seven ministers beholden to him, Mishra is perhaps the most powerful leader in the BSP after Mayawati. In early 2005, Mishra tirelessly toured the state advising Brahmins to recognize that they were a powerful vote bank and urging them to unite behind Mayawati. Mishra, who traveled 22,000 km across the 70 districts of Uttar Pradesh holding BSP Brahmin Sammelans (conventions) between July 1, 2006 and September 15, 2006, emerged as the principal architect of the Brahmin project.
Mayawati has very weak English language skills and limited exposure to non-Indians and may not be entirely comfortable interacting with Americans. To date, she has preferred to use Mishra in this role, although a future meeting, probably between Mayawati and the Ambassador (with Mishra likely acting as translator), cannot be ruled out. We suspect Mayawati will limit her interaction with the Embassy to non-substantive outreach meetings, and continue to rely on Mishra to handle substantive issues.
4. (C) Mishra began his career as a lawyer practicing in the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court. He chaired the Bar Council of UP in 1998-1999 and served as Advocate General of the State from 2002-2003. In 2002, Mayawati appointed Mishra as UP advocate-general in 2002 and National General Secretary of the BSP in January 2004. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha as a BSP nominee in July 2004. As a MP in the Rajya Sabha, Mishra has served on several committees, including: the Committee on Home Affairs, the Committee on Petroleum and Natural Gas, the Business Advisory Committee, the Committee on Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme, and the Consultative Committee for the Ministry of External Affairs
PERSONAL INTERESTS AND BACKGROUND
5. (C) Mishra has an active interest in the education and empowerment of physically disadvantaged individuals, especially the blind. He has organized several seminars and conferences and filed public interest litigation to benefit the interests of the disadvantaged, including those who are handicapped, widowed and low wage workers.
6. (C) Born on November 9, 1952 into an elite Brahmin family of Lucknow, Mishra holds a law-graduate degree from Allahabad University. His father, Justice Tribeni Sahai Misra was a reputed jurist. Mishra is married to Kalpna Mishra, and the couple has one son and four daughters.
7. (C) Mishra has traveled extensively to the UK, France and the U.S. He spends his free time playing cricket, badminton and table tennis. He also organizes cricket matches for blind students. Mishra speaks English and Hindi.
8. (C) Mishra views politics and law as interconnecting the family business with his political activities - a continuation of his father's activities. Likewise, he is grooming his son to act as his successor both within the family law firm and in the BSP. His son is currently completing his legal studies and working part-time at the firm; he will be taken in as a junior partner shortly. Mishra has already constructed an office for his son in the sprawling office-residential complex that houses the firm. Mishra is very proud of his just-completed office complex with its heavy reliance on state fo the art computers (a rarity in UP), and expects his son to keep the firm up to date.
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