Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) workers called off their protest against former Uttar Pradesh BJP Vice-President Dayashankar Singh for his abusive remarks against Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati after police assured Singh's arrest within the next 36 hours, IANS reported.
Lucknow's District Magistrate Raj Shekhar met party workers and assured action against Singh after an FIR was lodged against him late on Wednesday night at the Hazratganj police station.
Hundreds of BSP workers today staged a demonstration in the busy Hazratganj area to protest against the derogatory remarks even as police carried out raids to trace the BJP leader.
Raising slogans and burning effigies, the BSP workers converged near the Ambedkar statue in Hazratganj on the call of the party to stage a dharna against Singh, who has since been expelled by the BJP.
Traffic was thrown out of gear in the city as BSP workers, raising slogans and carrying placards, thronged the area.
In the dharna, a BSP worker was slightly injured while trying to set an effigy ablaze. The shirt of the injured worker caught fire but he along with others promptly pulled it out and escaped with minor burns.
BSP had asked its workers from different districts to reach the state capital to lodge a strong protest against the remarks made by the BJP leader and in response hundreds of Mayawati loyalists started making it to the state capital since last night.
Singh had sparked an outrage by his derogatory comments against the BSP supremo. He had compared the Dalit leader to a prostitute and said she sold party tickets to the highest bidder.
Reacting to the protests, senior BJP leader and Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu said the issue is over and the BJP has already taken action against him.
"This issue is over. We took action against him. Now what else should we do, tell? What he said was completely objectionable. The leader of the House too condemned the statement at the earliest. He was removed from his post, and later on he was suspended also. Let them protest, they keep on protesting; be it Congress or others. The thing is that BJP is moving ahead, and they can't digest that," he said.
With the Samajwadi Party government making it clear that action will be taken against Singh on the basis of the FIR, police in Lucknow and Ballia raided his premises but Singh was not found.
A police team was sent to Singh's house in Ballia last night but he was not found, Deputy Superintendent of Police K C Tyagi said.