Complete chaos in Lok Sabha

Complete chaos in Lok Sabha

The Lok Sabha on Thursday plunged into a new low as pro- and anti-Telangana members resorted to pepper spray, exchange of blows, deployed able-bodied amongst them for protection, and broke computers and microphones. 

The unprecedented events happened as the government made a determined attempt to introduce the bill for the creation of the separate state of Telangana. Both the pro- and anti-Telangana members came to the House well-prepared for a showdown with one another.

As Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde rose to introduce the bill, anti-Telangana members from Seemandhra region rushed to the well of the House in protest.

But pro-Telangana members in particular and the treasury bench members were well prepared to foil their attempt to stop Shinde from introducing the bill. Half a dozen able-bodied Congress members too marched to the well and provided a security cordon to Shinde and also to Speaker Meira Kumar.

The other side escalated the confrontation. L Rajagopal, the Congress member who was expelled from the party on Wednesday for opposing the creation of Telangana, broke computer screens. Telugu Desam Party member M Venugopala Reddy, another anti-Telangana member, uprooted microphones from the Lok Sabha official’s table.

As some members tried to retrain Rajagopal, he surprised every one. He took out and used pepper spray, leaving the members coughing and sneezing.      
There was also controversy regarding tabling of the bill. While treasury bench members claimed that the bill was tabled, opposition members  denied this. The clashes led to suspension of 16 MPs.

Intelligence agencies had warned the government of violence in the Lok Sabha during introduction of the bill. The watch and ward staff were equipped with blankets and fire extinguishers. Fire engines were kept on standby.

UPA floor managers entrusted physically strong members to shield the home minister and the Speaker from the Seemandhra leaders, in case they tried to snatch the bill.

The home minister introduced the bill in the melee but the Speaker had to adjourned proceedings till 2:00 pm.

The bill is now expected to be taken up for consideration and passage next week.
Ponnam Prabhakar, Porika Balram Naik and Binoy Kumar Pandey, who complained of breathlessness, were rushed to Ram Manohar Lohia hospital.

As the House reconvened at 2:00 pm, the Speaker suspended 16 members. As she read out their names, the TDP’s K Narayana Rao collapsed on the floor. The Rajya Sabha also witnessed a ruckus with the TDP’s C M Ramesh trying to uproot a mike from the chairman’s podium.

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