In the eye of the storm for using a pepper spray in the Lok Sabha to stall tabling of the Telangana Bill on Thursday, expelled Congress MP L Rajagopal claimed he did it in self-defence. While TDP MP M Venugopala Reddy denied reports that he had brandished a knife, he alleged that he was assaulted by 10 members.
“I went to rescue TDP MP M Venugopala Reddy who was targeted by Congress MPs while he was protesting in the well of the House. I immediately rushed from the other side to protect him. They started attacking me. So as self-defence, I used the pepper spray,” Rajagopal told reporters outside the House.
He claimed he carries a pepper spray for self-protection as he faces “great threat” from pro-Telangana protesters. “Pepper spray is a defensive thing which women are using nowadays when they come under attack. Here, I was under attack. I don’t want to use any lethal weapons. I am a person who never has any security. So I felt that like women are protecting themselves, let me also have something… because I know how these divisive forces… how they created ruckus on many occasions. So I always carry that in my pocket, and I used it the moment they started attacking,” said Rajagopal.
He also demanded that the MPs who attacked him and Reddy should be suspended.
Reddy even named some MPs who allegedly attacked him. “I was not carrying a knife inside the House. This is a lie being spread by the government. I was holding a mike which may have looked like a knife,” said Reddy. “The Congress MPs turned marshals today and pounced on me,” he said.
“I was beaten by Raj Babbar, Ponnam Prabhakar, Anjan Kumar Yadav, Nama Nageswara Rao, Vijayashanti, Nama Nageshwar Rao and three-four other MPs,” he claimed. Interestingly, Nama Nageswara Rao is the TDP leader of the House.
Sources said Ashish Khetan will be the vice-chairman of the commission.