Leaders from Opposition parties on Sunday condemned the Uttar Pradesh Police for baton-charging those who held peaceful protest in Lucknow over the alleged irregularities in the teacher recruitment process.

The protestors had held a candlelight march at a road junction near Chief Minister Adityanath’s home on Saturday over the alleged irregularities in the 2019 Uttar Pradesh Teachers’ Entrance Test that was held to recruit 69,000 assistant teachers.

The Samajwadi Party, which shared the clip of police baton-charging the protestors, alleged the Uttar Pradesh government had denied reservation to Dalit and other communities while recruiting teachers.

“Amid a peaceful candle march of the 69,000 teacher recruitment candidates, the police started a lathi-charge which is sad and shameful!” the party said in a tweet. “The unemployed youth will start a revolution, there will be a change in 2022.”

The Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party also criticised the Uttar Pradesh Police for resorting to baton-charge.

Congress’ General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said that the Uttar Pradesh government had become synonymous with misrule.

“The youth of Uttar Pradesh were raising their voice through the candlelight march, seeking employment,” she said in a tweet. “But, Yogi ji’s government, which has become synonymous with misrule, baton-charged them instead.”

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said when the BJP seeks votes for the 2022 Assembly elections, residents of Uttar Pradesh must remember that the government baton-charged youngsters who were seeking employment.

Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati said that the government must immediately consider the legitimate demands of the protestors.

Bharatiya Janata Party MP Varun Gandhi in a tweet said that nobody was ready to hear the “grievance of the protestors”. He asked the government why it was not recruiting eligible candidates for existing vacancies.

The Uttar Pradesh government is yet to respond to the criticism over the baton-change incident.

However, on Sunday, Chief Minister Adityanath posted a tweet in the aftermath of the incident, saying that the 25 crore residents of Uttar Pradesh were like a family to him.