Congress MP from Karimnagar recalls his experience after Lagadapati Rajagopal plunged the Lok Sabha into pandemonium by his pepper spraying act

Congress MP from Karimnagar Ponnam Prabhakar still shudders when he recalls the nightmarish experience after his colleague Lagadapati Rajagopal plunged the Lok Sabha into pandemonium by his pepper spraying act.

“The unbearable burning sensation in my eyes almost left me thinking that I had lost my sight,” said Mr. Prabhakar while narrating the sequ-ence of events in Parlia-ment on Thursday when the AP Reorganisation Bill was introduced.

“It was like a lull before the storm. When the announcement was made that the Speaker was arriving to occupy the chair, Mr. Rajagopal suddenly ran into the Well of the House with the canister in hand,” he told The Hindu.

There was complete bedlam as the Seemandhra Congress MPs tried to storm the podium even as several ruling party MPs stood guard near the Speaker’s chair. “Mr. Rajagopal began to spray some chemical from a can causing chaos. Congress MP from Maharashtra Vilas Muttemwar tried to hold the Vijayawada MP back but in vain. We joined him and there were fisticuffs. In the melee, I took the brunt of the pepper spray attack,” he recalled.“By that time, several MPs began to cough and sneeze and made a dash for the exit. With the help of other MPs, I was shifted to the Central Hall.” His agony was compounded when he went to the rest room to wash his face. “I could not see anything. At that mom-ent, I thought I had lost my sight and started crying,” Mr. Prabhakar said.