Lucknow: Hundreds of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) activists were caned here on Monday as they clashed with the police during a protest against the Uttar Pradesh government.
The BJP workers were protesting the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)-ruled government proposal to hold party-less civic polls and indirect elections of mayors.
Shouting slogans against Chief Minister Mayawati, a large number of BJP activists marched along the Vidhan Sabha Marg towards Raj Bhawan here to hand over a memorandum to Governor BL Joshi.
The police used batons and water canons to disperse the BJP proteters.
While the police claimed no one was seriously injured, senior BJP leader and the party`s spokesperson in the state HN Dixit claimed that about 20 workers received injuries.
"The decision to hold party-less civic polls is undemocratic. The ruling BSP is trying to take over local bodies illegally as it will help them use money and muscle power to capture mayoral posts in municipal corporations," he added.
The Mayawati government in February passed an amendment to the local bodies law, ending direct elections of mayors and chairmen of local bodies and municipal corporations. The bill is now awaiting the governor`s assent.