Azamgarh (UP) : The Bhim Army says it will contest in the 2021 civic body polls in the state close on the heels of Aam Aadmi Party's decision for the same.
Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad highlighted "atrocities on Dalits were increasing in rural areas" of the state as a reason for his decision.
Showing concern about the state's law and order, he accused the Yogi Adityanath government of "settling scores with the opposition" by targeting its supporters.
Panchayats are going to polls most likely in March-April 2021, as the term of bodies expire this month.
Chandrashekhar, who leads Azad Samaj Party, termed the panchayat elections a precursor to the 2022 Assembly elections.
The Bhim Army chief, who arrived here to meet the Azamgarh District Magistrate over alleged delay in providing medical help to a Dalit village head killed recently, had heated arguments with policemen before his meeting with the officer.
"People should be given due respect in a democracy. The treatment meted out to me here proves that officials are threatening people," he told reporters.
Chandrashekhar attacked BJP over Union Home Minister Amit Shah's road shows and election rallies in West Bengal, saying Parliament's Winter Session has been cancelled on the pretext of coronavirus.
"The Union government is doing this to avoid opposition questions as it does not have answers to them," he remarked.
IANS report with edits