Regret what happened: 'Pepper spray' MP
Expelled Congress MP Lagadapati Rajagopal, who used pepper spray to disrupt proceedings in the Lok Sabha over Telangana, on Friday said he regrets what happened.
"We all regret what happened yesterday. We are all ashamed. But everyone must understand why this happened," said Rajagopal.
On using the pepper spray in the House, Rajagopal said: "It is a prescribed self-defence instrument, so I used it."
The Parliament witnessed a dark day in its history as the issue of introduction of the Telanagan Bill triggered ruckus and even the use of pepper spray by parliamentarians which led to the suspension of 16 Andhra Pradesh MPs on Thursday.
Three parliamentarians were even rushed to hospital.
Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar announced the decision soon after the House met at 2 pm after being adjourned in the wake of the ruckus.
Chaos broke out as soon as the Telangana Bill was tabled in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.
Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde tabled the Telangana Bill in the Lower House of the Parliament.
As soon as he rose to introduce the Bill, expelled Congress MP Lagadapati Rajagopal used pepper spray to disrupt proceedings in the House.
TV footage showed MPs seen coughing and covering their eyes as an effect of the pepper spray. The Parliament doctor was rushed to their rescue.
Three MPs-Vinay Kumar Pande, Ponnam Prabhakar and Balram Nai-suffered from suffocation, irritation in their eyes and heavy coughing following which they were taken to nearby a hospital for treatment, reports said.
While Rajagopal used pepper spray, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MP Venugopal Reddy allegedly threatened fellow members with a knife inside the Lok Sabha.
He , however, denied the allegation, but admitted that he snatched a microphone from the Lok Sabha Secretary General.
"I did not carry a knife in the House. I snatched a microphone which might have been mistaken as a knife. I was beaten up by 10 MPs," said Reddy.
Meanwhile, a scuffle broke out among pro-Telangana and anti-Telangana MPs in which Rajagopal was also reportedly injured. Marshals were called in to control the situation.
Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, was also injured as microphones were being pulled, papers being torn while MPs manhandled each other.
The Lok Sabha was adjourned following the ruckus.
Ruckus was also reported in the Rajya Sabha where MPs held up placards and shouted slogans for an united Andhra Pradesh.
MPs from Seemandhara marched to the Well of the House and attempted to break the Deputy Chairman's microphone.
"I am ashamed that such incident has taken place in the House today. This negates the fundamentals of our democracy," Parliament Affairs Minister Kamal Nath told reporters outside the Parliament.
(Posted on 14-02-2014)
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