Monday, November 28, 2022

K’taka minister apologises after viral video shows him slapping woman

Karnataka Minister V Somanna apologised on Sunday after he allegedly slapped a woman who approached him with a plea to redress her grievance.
The incident, the video of which went viral on social media, took place when the Housing and Infrastructure Minister was participating in a property document distribution ceremony at Hangla village in this district.
Property ownership papers were handed over to landless people who were occupying government land for residential purposes.
During the ceremony on Saturday, the woman, later identified as Kempamma, approached the Chamarajnagar district incharge Minister reportedly pleading with him to allot a plot. The minister turned angry after he was shoved due to the unruly crowd and allegedly slapped her.
“This incident is not an incident at all. I have been in politics for the past 40 years. This was a programme organised for the downtrodden and economically weaker section of the society. Though I did not misbehave at all but if anyone felt hurt then I apologise and express my regret,” he told reporters in Chamarajanagar.
According to him, Kempamma, a widow, was repeatedly coming on to the stage compelling him to ask her not to do so.
Though he told her that he will resolve her issue in 10 minutes once he comes down from the stage, she did not relent, Somanna added.
“I was trying to make her stand aside indicating her with my hand. There was no other intention other than that. I have high regards for women. I too come from a financially weaker background,” the minister explained.
He added that he issued a ‘Hakku Patra’ (ownership paper) to Kempamma on Sunday.
Former Chief Minister and Congress leader Siddaramaiah came down heavily on Somanna saying that the incident “showed his culture”.
“A woman was narrating her woes to the government but she was responded with harsh words. Those in power should have patience. Somanna is unfit to be a minister,” Siddaramaiah said.
“If you don’t have patience and inept to address the grievances of people then you should resign and come out of the government,” he said.
Congress national general secretary and Karnataka in charge Randeep Singh Surjewala alleged that the “arrogance has gone into the heads” of the BJP ministers.
Congress general secretary and Rajya Sabha member Jairam Ramesh said: “What a difference from the way @RahulGandhi began the Karnataka leg of #BharatJodoYatra from the very same Gundlupet on 30th September! This shameless man should be sacked immediately!” Ramesh tweeted.
The Congress MP was referring to Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, which entered Karnataka from Gundlupet last month, where the incident occurred on Saturday.
Somanna’s office later shared a video where the woman said she was not slapped but was only ‘consoled by the minister’.
“I bowed at his feet with the plea to grant me land and the minister lifted me consoling me that he would help me but it was publicised that he slapped me,” the woman accompanied by her children said in the video.

SourcePTI
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