NEW DELHI (AP) — Indian lawmakers have been evacuated from Parliament after a governing Congress party member used pepper spray to halt the introduction of a bill for carving out a new state in the south.

Lawmakers had been planning to vote on new legislation to create the state of Telangana from the mostly poor, inland districts of Andhra Pradesh state.

Lawmaker L. Rajagopal from Andhra Pradesh attempted to prevent Thursday’s vote by unleashing pepper spray, which reduced other lawmakers to coughing and tearing as they were ushered out of the building.

Several lawmakers attempted to subdue Rajagopal, leading to a scuffle.

One lawmaker was rushed to a hospital, but no information was immediately available about his condition.

Speaker Meira Kumar adjourned the session until Thursday afternoon, calling the turmoil “a blot.”

Subscribe to Asian Correspondent

Receive our weekly round-up of the most important stories in Asia

We will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.