An angry legislator used a pepper spray and another threw a computer amid uproarious scenes at the Indian parliament over plans to create a new Telangana state out of the southern Andhra Pradesh province.
Tempers flared on Thursday as the federal government introduced a bill to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh. “I am too anguished,” Parliament Speaker Meira Kumar said, as rival members of parliament clashed over the bill.
The use of a pepper spray caused instant coughing among several MPs and a doctor was called in to attend those complaining of unease.
“I am told that knives, pepper powder and other weapons were brought into the house,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath was quoted as saying by NDTV.
The proposed creation of Telangaga is a contentious issue and has even divided the ruling Congress party. Several Congress MPs have revolted against the party decision. Kiran Kumar Reddy, the Congress chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, led a sit-in protest against the decision, demanding that the state be left undivided.
However, there is strong support for a new Telangana state among other sections.
The parliament had also witnessed ugly scenes on Wednesday with rival legislators nearly coming to blows over the issue. “My heart bleeds to see what is happening in the house. It is bad for democracy,” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said.