Pepper spray, chaos in Lok Sabha over Telangana

NEW DELHI Thu Feb 13, 2014 5:02pm IST

1 of 4. Sumitra Mahajan, a parliamentarian and a leader of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), drinks water after she rushed out of the parliament in New Delhi February 13, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Adnan Abidi

Related Topics

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The Lok Sabha erupted in mayhem on Thursday when a lawmaker fired pepper spray in parliament in protest against a bill on a new Telangana state. Television footage showed pictures of lawmakers coughing, sneezing and holding scarves to their faces. Shouting protesters also broke a glass table and snapped the wire of an official's microphone.

A few lawmakers were rushed away in an ambulance while others were given first aid treatment in parliament.

"The incidents which took place in the house are a big blot on our democracy," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath told reporters.

"Parliamentary democracy provides for dissent but does not provide for the kind of disruption and attempted violence which we saw today. I feel ashamed that such an incident has taken place."

The furor erupted after Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde rose to table a bill for the creation of Telangana to be carved out of Andhra Pradesh.

Lagadapati Rajagopal, a member of parliament from Andhra Pradesh who was recently suspended by the ruling Congress party and who opposes creation of the new state, then unleashed the pepper spray.

Congress has tried to pass laws in the parliament's last session before a general election due by May, but the house has frequently been adjourned amid rowdy scenes over the creation of Telangana state.

Thursday's antics were the worst and drew criticism from parliamentarians from various parties.

"It is an unprecedented and a disgraceful situation," said Jaswant Singh of the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party.

The bill was tabled but the session broke up soon after. The speaker suspended 17 members of parliament.

(Reporting By Sruthi Gottipati and Nigam Prusty; Editng by Angus MacSwan and Robert Birsel)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (8)
jvaishnav47 wrote:
What needs to be consider that when majority people of Andhra Pradesh are against bifurcation, & same resolution is passed even by Andhra pradesh Assembly , union govt should not then introduce ‘ bifurcation bill’
Congress party was well aware about the agitation, however just to get political mileage ,Congress party is playing with fire

Feb 13, 2014 5:34pm IST  --  Report as abuse
jvaishnav47 wrote:
What needs to be consider that when majority people of Andhra Pradesh are against bifurcation, & same resolution is passed even by Andhra pradesh Assembly , union govt should not then introduce ‘ bifurcation bill’
Congress party was well aware about the agitation, however just to get political mileage ,Congress party is playing with fire

Feb 13, 2014 5:34pm IST  --  Report as abuse
jvaishnav47 wrote:
What needs to be consider that when majority people of Andhra Pradesh are against bifurcation, & same resolution is passed even by Andhra pradesh Assembly , union govt should not then introduce ‘ bifurcation bill’
Congress party was well aware about the agitation, however just to get political mileage ,Congress party is playing with fire

Feb 13, 2014 5:34pm IST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

REUTERS SHOWCASE

School Shooting

School Shooting

Two killed, four wounded in Washington state school shooting.  Full Article 

Sundar Pichai Elevated

Sundar Pichai Elevated

Google's Pichai to oversee major products and services.  Full Article 

Need For Reforms

Need For Reforms

Euro zone risks "relapse into recession" without structural reforms - Draghi.  Full Article 

Diwali Sales

Diwali Sales

Gold sales jump about 20 pct for Diwali - trade body  Full Article 

World Bank Rival

World Bank Rival

Three major nations absent as China launches W.Bank rival in Asia  Full Article 

Wal-Mart India

Wal-Mart India

Murali Lanka appointed as Wal-Mart India operations chief  Full Article 

Health Of Lenders

Health Of Lenders

25 European banks set to fail health checks - sources.  Full Article 

Special Report

Special Report

Why Madrid's poor fear Goldman Sachs and Blackstone  Full Article 

India Insight

India Insight

Kalki Koechlin on her role as a disabled girl in “Margarita, With a Straw”  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage