Under fire for his pepper spray attack in Lok Sabha during introduction of Telangana bill, Seemandhra MP L Rajagopal today defended his actions, saying he did it in self defence.
Rajagopal, who was suspended from the Lok Sabha by Speaker Meira Kumar, also demanded similar action against Congress MPs alleging they had "pounced" on him and TDP member Venugopal Reddy.
"I went to rescue TDP MP M Venugopala Reddy who was targeted by Congress MPs while protesting in the Well of the House. I immediately rushed from the other side to protect him. They started attacking me. So immediately as a self defence, I used the pepper spray," Rajagopal told reporters outside Parliament House.
Flanked by Congress MP Anantha Vekatarami Reddy and his colleagues from Seemandhra region, Rajagopal said he always carries a pepper spray can as he was "under great threat from these forces"--a reference to pro-Telangana protesters-- and he used it as a self protection.
Asked whether he felt that use of such a "hazardous" thing in the House was right when there are senior members who have asthma and respiratory problems, Rajagopal said, "Pepper spray is a defencive thing which women are using when they are under attack. Here I had been 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," he said.
"In fact they did not attack me. They were attacking one of the TDP members.... I had to go and rescue him. When they started attacking me, I used it as a self-defence," he said.
Asked whether he felt that the incident was unfortunate, Rajagopal, who was expelled from the Congress alongwith five other Seemandhra MPs for pressing for non-confidence motion against UPA Government, said, "Congress Party talks about democracy" but is indulging in blame game "without following any democratic practices."
On his suspension from the House, he said, "they should suspend the entire Congress lords who have pounced on us....
"It is not only Andhra Pradesh MPs, Congress MPs from various states..Speaker should suspend all the Congress MPs who came to the Well."