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MPs fume over Lok Sabha bedlam


New Delhi, Feb 13 :

Leaders of political parties in parliament Thursday denounced Andhra Pradesh MP L. Rajagopal for using pepper spray in the Lok Sabha, calling it an attack on parliamentary democracy.

Janata Dal-United leader Sharad Yadav called it an act of sedition, and said he had urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to crack down on what took place in the house.Parliament 1

“This is an attack on our democracy and it is nothing short of sedition,” said Yadav, who was in the Lok Sabha when Rajagopal did the unthinkable during continuing protests over Telangana.

“This house has all the power to make laws and punish people. I told the prime minister that if the strongest action is not taken against the guilty, it will be difficult for parliament to run.”

Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Sitaram Yechury blamed the Congress for the ruckus.

“The Congress has not taken a reasonable decision on Telangana. Normal functioning of parliament is the sole responsibility of the government,” he said.

Expelled from the Congress for opposing Telangana’s formation, Rajagopal Thursday used pepper spray, causing serious discomfort to many MPs as well as officials besides journalists in the media gallery.

“What happened is disgraceful, unprecedented and unforgivable,” said BJP parliamentarian Jaswant Singh. He too blamed the government for not controlling the daily chaos.

Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal said: “This is very unfortunate for our democracy. The government will go ahead with the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.”

Jaiswal said he feared for Speaker Meira Kumar’s safety at one point.

“If the house allows this sort of things, then it will be difficult to run parliament.”