Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar was on Friday enraged after a journalist questioned him over reports that his relative, former Maharashtra minister Padmasinh Patil, was quitting the party and joining the ruling BJP.
Upset over the use of the term "relative", Mr Pawar asked the journalist to apologise and leave the media briefing.
At a press conference held at Shrirampur, Mr Pawar faced questions about a number of NCP leaders defecting to the BJP or Shiv Sena.
Responding to one such question, the NCP leader said, "For 10-15 years, their development took place in this party (NCP) only. They perhaps now want more development and the BJP and Shiv Sena may have shown them some path to attain it."
"I, however, don't have information about what kind of development that is," Mr Pawar said.
A journalist then questioned Mr Pawar that "not only leaders but also relatives" were leaving his 20-year-old party. He then named Mr Patil, an NCP leader from Osmanabad.
Mr Patil's sister is married to Mr Pawar's nephew Ajit.
The use of the term "relative" visibly upset Mr Pawar.
"Where is the question of a relative here? What you are saying is wrong. Where is the question of relatives in politics?" Mr Pawar asked the reporter.
When the journalist tried to explain his question, the former Union minister got up to leave the press conference, saying he did not want to speak further. He asked the journalist to apologise.
Mr Pawar also said those who lack civility should not be called to the press meeting. "You either call him (the reporter) or you call me," the NCP chief said.
The 79-year-old leader refused to take further questions and with folded hands, asked the journalist to leave the press briefing.
Other journalists later persuaded Mr Pawar to continue the press conference.
NCP MLAs Shivendrasinh Bhosale, Sandip Naik and Vaibhav Pichad quit the party and joined the BJP last month.
Before that, Shahapur MLA Pandurang Barora and its Mumbai unit chief Sachin Ahir too switched over to the Shiv Sena.
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