Agra/Saharanpur, Jan 15 (ANI): Uttar Pradesh traders shut down their shops on Saturday to agitate against the undue strictures implemented by the police after an Election Commission directive asked the authorities to take strong action against those having unaccounted money.
Shouting slogans, they demanded the state authorities to step into action and relieve them of unnecessary harassment by the policemen in their area.
Ajay Kumar, a jewellery storeowner, said here on Saturday that they are being hassled in the name of checking.
"Our major concern is that police officials in the city are harassing us after a directive of the Election Commission that is against illicit liquor and unaccounted money. In the name of checking, we are suffering and so is our trade," he said.
As per statistics, 125,000 liters of liquor and Rs. 28, 37,00,000 have been recovered from across the state through rigorous checking and raids as per the directions of the Election Commission of India.
Hindu temple authorities criticized the Election Commission for covering an elephant statue outside the temple ahead of the elections, assuming it to be lobbying for the ruling Bahujan Samajwadi party, whose party symbol is also an 'Elephant'.
Condemning the move, Ram Kishen, a Hindu priest in Saharanpur, said that the statue has been in place before the Bahujan Samaj Party came into existence and has no political motive.
"The elephant signifies Hindu religion and the statue has been here before the Bahujan Samaj Party came into existence. It is not right to cover the statue, it has no political motive, it is purely religious. We condemn this move by the Election Commission," he said.
As per a directive issued by the Election Commission, all major statues of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and BSP chief Mayawati representing her party are to be covered ahead of polls in the state.
Uttar Pradesh elections, spread through a seven phase polling in the months of February and March, are seen as an opportunity for Congress party to re-establish foothold in its erstwhile political base in the country's fifth largest and most populous state.
Uttar Pradesh will elect a new 403-member state assembly in March, and the poll results are expected to broadly indicate trends for 2014 general elections. (ANI)