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HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

L Rajagopal sprays pepper in LS over Telangana bill, Twitter stings him

HT Correspondent, Hindustantimes.com  New Delhi, February 13, 2014
First Published: 19:00 IST(13/2/2014) | Last Updated: 21:17 IST(13/2/2014)

Lagadapati Rajagopal is the richest MP from Andhra Pradesh in Parliament: he listed assets worth Rs. 299 crore when he contested the 2009 polls. The lawmaker from Vijayawada is a mechanical engineer, the former head of Lanco Infratech and he heads foundations that help poor students, differently abled people and organises health camps.


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Read: Telangana bill tabled in LS; MP uses pepper spray, Speaker suspends 16 legislators

That's an impressive CV but Rajagopal perhaps sullied his reputation on Thursday when he sprayed pepper spray inside Lok Sabha to protest the tabling of Telangana bill.

Rajagopal, who represents Vijaywada in Parliament, was the butt of Twitter condemnation and jokes after news spread of his action.



Full Coverage: Telangana, the troubled state



Rajagopal, however, defended his action. "I used pepper spray in self-defence. I rushed to the well only when a Seemandhra MP was attacked," Rajagopal told reporters.

Read: Govt was warned of trouble, but pepper spray sprang a surprise

Rajagopal released the pepper spray towards fellow members after home minister Sushilkumar Shinde tabled the Telangana bill at noon. He was quickly overpowered by fellow MPs and marshals.

Read: Pepper spray leaves stain on Indian democracy, say MPs

The strong, pungent odour triggered coughing among the parliamentarians who rushed out of the house. Doctors were called and three MPs were taken to hospital. Rajagopal was among six MPs from Seemandhra who were expelled from the Congress Tuesday.

Read more:

Parliament disruptions make my heart bleed, says PM
Congress expels 6 MPs
Turmoil in Rajya Sabha over Telangana
'MPs should introspect over functioning of House'
Suspend MPs disrupting Parliament, says Digvijay Singh


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