Senior Karnataka Congress leader TP Ramesh drew severe criticism after a video purportedly showing him trying to hold Madikeri MLC Veena Achaiah’s hand during an event surfaced, The Times of India reported. The incident is believed to have taken place during an Independence Day function in Madikeri town of Kodagu district on Tuesday. The party leader is a former unit president of the Congress in Madikeri.

Achaiah said she was saddened by Ramesh’s behaviour. “We were discussing about a health camp organised at Dharmasthala a few days ago,” Achaiah told The NewsMinute. “He then took my hand and said that I had lost weight. I felt uncomfortable and immediately pushed his hand away.”

She further said that Ramesh had apologised to her, adding that she would approach the Congress high command to decide her next step. “I have not filed any complaint of harassment yet. the party has treated me with great respect. This incident is shocking,” she said.

Ramesh said his intention was not to misbehave with her. “We are from the same region and I consider Veena as my sister. The video is being shared to defame me,” Ramesh said, according to The Times of India.