When an Assamese journalist posed a politically loaded question to All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) chief Badruddin Ajmal at a media event in the South Salmara-Mankachar district today, he probably expected a response that would help him deliver a quick byte for his television channel. But then, he had not counted on the 68-year-old politician's temper.
Mr Ajmal threw the microphone in anger and rained the choicest epithets before reportedly threatening to set his followers on the journalist. According to news agency PTI, he even said he would smash the mediaperson's head.
According to sources, the dispute broke out when the journalist asked Mr Ajmal which political front he would align with in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. Although the politician replied that the AIUDF would ally with the "Mahagathbandhan", the journalist persisted in his queries. This time, he asked if Mr Ajmal would be willing to pitch in with any party that forms the government at the centre.
The Dhubri parliamentarian did not take kindly to being called an opportunist. He hurled a couple of choice abuses at the journalist before asserting that the AIUDF was not for sale. "He is asking for how much money will I be sold to the BJP? His father will be sold, not me," he shouted. "Thousands of my men are out there, and one signal is all I need to end you."
An AIUDF leader seated next to Mr Ajmal then asked the journalist to apologise, to which he obliged.
The journalist later filed a police case against the politician, and said that he had apologised under pressure. "I was forced to apologise... I did it to save my life. I have already filed an FIR," he said.
(With inputs from PTI)