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Fisticuffs, pepper spraying marks tabling of T-bill in LS
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New Delhi: Unprecedented pandemonium marked
by fisticuffs, pepper spraying and breaking of mike was today
witnessed in Lok Sabha as the government introduced the
controversial Telangana bill.
Hell broke loose in the House with members feeling
suffocated and seen coughing after expelled Congress MP L
Rajagopal resorted to spraying of pepper to prevent
introduction of the bill that provides for bifurcation of
Andhra Pradesh.
The spray, generally used by women to fend off
eveteasers, was used to lethal effect in the Well of the
House as Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde introduced the
Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill amid vociferous protests by
members from Seemandhra.
The impact of the spray was such that an unspecified
number of members were rushed to hospitals after at least four
ambulances were pressed into service.
Some members were seen coming out of the House with watery
eyes and seemed to be suffocating.
The Well of the Lok Sabha turned into a battle ground as
fisticuffs broke out between members from Seemandhra and
others, including Raj Babbar, Azharuddin, Lal Singh (all Cong)
and Saugata Roy (TMC), who wanted to prevent disruptions in
the House.
M Venugopal Reddy (TDP) first damaged a mike on the table
of Secretary General and later snatched papers from the
Speaker's podium, while Rajagopal broke the glass on the table
and used the pepper spray.The high drama took place soon after the House assembled
at noon after one adjournment and Home Minister was about to
introduce the bill.
In view of the chaos, Speaker Meira Kumar adjourned the
House till 2 PM soon after the bill was introduced.
Though Treasury benches had made arrangements to prevent
disturbance by positioning members like Raj Babbar, Azharuddin
and Lal Singh near the Well, M Venugopal Reddy (TDP) broke the
mike on the Secretary General's table.
Reddy was immediately overpowered by other members by when
Rajagopal broke the glass on the Secretary General's table.
Soon after, Rajagopal sprayed the pepper spray near the podium
causing commotion and coughing.
TMC veteran Saugata Roy, while feeling choked, was seen
trying to control the unruly members in the Well. Soon other
members started coughing uncontrollably.
Rajagopal was attacked by some members and it was hard
time for the watch and ward staff to rescue him and take him
to the office of the Speaker.
The smell of the spray was so strong that its impact was
felt even outside the House.
Rajagopal was expelled from Congress along with five other
members from the Seemandhra region only two days back for
their persistent defiance on the Telangana issue and even
giving notices of noconfidence against the Manmohan Singh
government.
Minutes before the fracas broke out, TDP member N
Sivaprasad from Seemandhra and M Jagannath of Congress from
Telangana, who had almost come to blows yesterday, were seen
exchanging pleasantries.