Telugu Desam Party leader Chandrababu Naidu broke down on live television on Friday at a press conference he held shortly after staging a walkout of the Andhra Pradesh Assembly.
He referred to what he said were harsh and derogatory verbal attacks on his wife, Bhuvaneswari.
“For the last two-and-a-half years, I have been bearing the insults but remained calm. Today, they targeted even my wife. I always lived with honour and for honour. I can take it no more,” a distressed Mr Naidu was quoted by news agency PTI.
Earlier today, inside the state Assembly, there were sharp exchanges between the ruling YSR Congress and those in the opposition, including the TDP.
Mr Naidu said he was denied an opportunity to make a statement to defend himself and his wife against the alleged personal remarks. According to PTI, Speaker Tammineni Seetaram cut Mr Naidu’s mic as he was speaking, and as ruling party MLAs called the ex-Chief Minister’s remarks “drama”.
The entire incident was during a discussion on the farm sector.
Having reportedly been refused an opportunity to speak, Mr Naidu then walked out. TDP MLAs tried to console their leader, PTI reported, after which they all trooped back into the House.
Before that, though, Mr Naidu made one dramatic announcement – that he would only return to the Assembly as Chief Minister, as he had been insulted and humiliated inside the august building.
Meanwhile, a video in which Mr Naidu himself is referring to Chief Minister Jagan Reddy (without naming him) has been widely circulated. Mr Reddy has claimed personal remarks were made against him and his family, and that his rival was now blaming ruling party members.
Earlier this week Mr Naidu’s TDP suffered a rout in civic polls in Chittoor district, which is his home turf.
The YSR Congress won 19 of 25 wards in Kuppam municipality – the first time the Telugu Desam Party has lost in this area. The defeat, predictably, has been seen as a major setback, particularly as the party failed to win other local body elections held just a few months ago.
Mr Naidu’s declaration is not the first of its kind.
In 2012 the late former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa vowed not to return to the Assembly – after alleging humiliation and assault inside – unless she was elected to the top job.