An Indian MP was so convinced that a proposed plan to create a new state in the South Asian country would be detrimental, he used pepper spray in parliament to stop proceedings.
In protest to the creation of the new state – Telangana – Member of Parliament, L Rajagopal, took matters into his own hands by unleashing the dangerous chemicals in the lower house of India’s parliament.
Mr Rajagopal, of the governing Congress Party, smashed a glass and proceeded to use pepper spray on his colleagues as the Home Minister, Sushil Kumar Shinde, attempted to table the bill to create the new state.
Members who were in attendance were forced to leave the premises with some being taken to hospital for treatment.
Mr Rajagopal has been suspended by the party, alongside several other MPs, after leaving the official building, alongside fellow personnel who exited coughing and wiping their eyes.
The Press Trust of India quoted Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath as saying: “Members tried to use gas in the house… gas the house… I did not see, but I am informed that there was a knife, there was gas, there were other kinds of weapons.”
Never before has such an incident occurred directly inside the Parliamentary building and Mr Nath warned that it would only prove to be detrimental for the Congress Party.
“The circumstances and incidents which took place in the house are a big blot on our parliamentary democracy,” he added.
If the state of Telangana was to be approved it would comprise of 10 of Andhra Pradesh’s 23 districts including the biggest city of Hyderabad, with backers claiming the area has so far been ‘neglected’ by the government.
Hyderabad has been at the centre of much of the debate with many protesters arguing that the city’s major information technology and pharmaceutical companies would no longer provide capital to Andhra Pradesh in 10 years after the state creation.