An affectionate kiss planted on the cheek of Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah by a woman supporter at an event at Bengaluru Palace Sunday has kicked up a storm, with comments on social media questioning the propriety of the kiss and forcing the CM and his aides to defend the incident.
The CM was given a peck on his cheek by Sandhya Girija, 32, a newly elected member of a Taluk panchayat, at an event organised to felicitate members of local bodies from the Kuruba community, to which Siddaramaiah belongs.
The moment was captured on camera and was broadcast across local TV channels with headlines like “Chief Minister Siddaramaiah gets a big kiss’’.
Soon after, Siddaramaiah explained that his supporter’s action was like a child’s kiss for a parent. Girija too explained that she hails from the CM’s home constituency of Varuna and that, as a fan of Siddaramaiah, was overcome by emotion.
On social media, however, the issue started trending, with several comments deriding the propriety of the action. But others described the incident as perfectly innocent, with some even posting pictures of Prime Minister Narendra Modi getting a hug from a young lady during a visit to a foreign country and Union minister Uma Bharati planting an affectionate peck on the cheek of a party leader.
“What he has done is wrong, even if it is a father-child relationship. She could have fallen at his feet if that was the nature of their relationship,’’ read a comment on the Facebook page of the CM’s media adviser Dinesh Aminmatu.