While in Seemandhra, TRS Chief K Chandrashekara Rao is the hate figure, for Telanganites Vijayawada MP Lagadapati Rajagopal – better recognised as the man who used a pepper spray on fellow MPs on Thursday – fills up the role. For reasons best known to him, the now expelled Congress leader was always in the forefront in the opposition to Telangana formation.
Such is his outspokenness against bifurcation that some properties of the `600 crore Lanco Group he founded were pelted upon and he was attacked physically a few times. Just a few days back, Lagadapati was pulled down by a Telangana activist from a dais from where he was addressing a Samaikhyandhra gathering in the city.
It should not be surprising then if the second time MP in a row from Vijayawada claims to have kept the pepper spray for his defence. However, the place and people he used it on Thursday is what has shocked many. He had warned that he could go to any extent to stop the bifurcation though.
Lagadapati denies vehemently if pointed that his Telangana opposition could be a business interest. “The group operates in over a dozen states in the country and three countries abroad. For a businessman, a new state would only mean new avenues. Anyway, I am no more involved in Lanco’s activities,” he told HT earlier.