Congress leader Kavitha Reddy on Sunday dismissed allegations that she assaulted and verbally abused Kannada actor Samyuktha Hegde and her friends for exercising wearing sports bras in a park in Bengaluru. Reddy claimed she had berated Hegde for playing loud music in a public place and added that she made no reference to her attire.

On Saturday, Hegde filed a complaint against the Congress leader for allegedly abusing and attacking her in a park, according to The Indian Express. The actor posted a live video on Instagram, in which she said that a group of people led by Reddy cornered her while she was working out with her friends, and shamed them for their clothing.

“Three of us were working out and Kavitha Reddy suddenly came and tried to assault us, saying that our clothes were wrong and we were doing cabaret instead of working out,” the actor told The Times of India. “This was in broad daylight and in a public park. And a woman who insulted and hurled abuse at us for simply wearing workout clothes and exercising in a park...What wrong did we do that my friends and I had to go through this trauma and shamed for no fault of ours?”

Hegde also tweeted a video, in which Reddy can be seen filming the actor and her friends. “These are the girls who are acting too smart,” the Congress leader can be heard as saying.

In a statement on Sunday, Reddy denied the charge and said she had just asked the actor to respect the basic rules of any park. “I went and met Samyuktha and two of her friends (I was not aware that she was some movie star, but that would not have changed much anyways) and told them that playing music and dancing is not allowed in the park and that they should respect the basic rules of any park,” she said. “...At no point I made a reference to her attire.”

Reddy further alleged that Hegde misbehaved with the security guard of the park. “Samyuktha and two of her friends told me that the guards also made some remarks at them,” Reddy said. “I told her that all three of them should apologize and he will also apologize for his mistake.”

The Congress leader also alleged that she was abused by one of Hegde’s friends . “Yes, that really upset me and I did want to slap her, but only confronted her and warned her,” she added. “By then, many in the public told them to apologize to me, which they did not and Samyuktha continued her video shooting on a monologue.”

Reddy accused Hegde of running a “smear campaign” against her and of using the social media “to overshadow the truth”. “Samyuktha has used her social media accounts to run a smear campaign,” she said. “ONLY against me for some strange reason, when she had problems with everyone in the public. Unlike Samyuktha, I did not do any recording or go live as my objective was not to gain instant publicity at her cost or anyone’s cost, even though I knew she will play it all up in social media to her advantage and the truth will be overshadowed.”

The Congress leader reiterated that she was not indulging in “moral policing”, adding that she also puts on her “sports attire” while she goes for a run. “Many who come to Agara Lake wear what they want without any dress code or restrictions,” she said in her statement.