All India United Democratic Front chief Badruddin Ajmal on Thursday apologised for abusing a journalist the previous day.

The Lok Sabha MP from Assam’s Dhubri constituency wrote on Twitter that he has “sincere regards” and respect for the media. “Media is the fourth pillar of democracy and I have always respected media persons and everyone knows that,” he said. “The Mankachar incident was an unintentional aberration and I sincerely apologise for that to all concerned.”

Several media organisations threatened to file first information reports against Ajmal. They also staged protests against Ajmal at the Dispur Press Club on Thursday, according to IANS.

On Wednesday, Ajmal had hurled abuses at a journalist in Hatsingimari area of Assam during a press meet. When the journalist asked Ajmal about the prospects of his party forming an alliance for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Lok Sabha MP said he will be a part of the Opposition’s mahagathbandhan (grand alliance). Asked if he would support the party that comes to power in New Delhi after the polls, Ajmal lost his cool.

“He is asking for how much money will I be sold to BJP?” he shouted at the journalist, grabbing a mic. Accusing the journalist of targeting him, he added: “Go away, I will smash your head. Go register a case against me.”

“I have my men in will be finished,” Ajmal added. “You have done this earlier also.” A party leader sitting next to Ajmal then asked the journalist to apologise. “You have misunderstood me,” the journalist said, after apologising.

“People gathered there and I was about to be thrashed,” the journalist said later. “I was forced to apologise and I did it to save my life. I have already filed a first information report.”