Ramesh is seen smiling as Veena Achaiah pushes his hand away.

Caught on cam Karnataka Cong leader holds woman MLCs hand as she squirms in discomfort
news Sexual Harassment Friday, August 18, 2017 - 14:47

A video doing the rounds showing Congress leader TP Ramesh trying to hold MLC Veena Achaiah's hand during the Independence Day function while she is seen pushing his hand away has drawn severe public criticism. 

The former president of Madikeri’s Congress unit was caught on camera trying to hold the MLC’s hand during the Independence Day celebration in Kodagu district’s Madikeri town. 

Ramesh is seen smiling as Veena Achaiah looking visibly uncomfortable pushes his hand away.

Speaking to TNM, MLC Veena said that she was shocked and saddened that a fellow Congress leader misbehaved with her openly.

“We were discussing about a health camp organised at Dharmasthala a few days ago. He then took my hand and said that I had lost weight. I felt uncomfortable and immediately pushed his hand away. Then I think he noticed I was uncomfortable and both of us did not say anything to each other during the programme,” MLC Veena said.

Stating that she had a telephonic conversation with Ramesh after the programme. Veena said that she has never been ill-treated or harassed by anyone in the party before.

“This is the first time such an incident has occurred with me. I was taken aback. But once I reached home after the event, I received a call from ST Ramesh. He apologised to me and said that he considered me like his sister and never meant to make me feel uncomfortable,” Veena added.

The MLC from Madikeri said that she would talk to the Congress High Command on Friday evening and decide on the future course of action.

“I will talk to my party seniors and high command and then decide to pursue the next course of action. I have not filed any complaint of harassment yet. Personally, I have never experienced any difficulty in performing tasks being a woman. The party has treated me with great respect. This incident is shocking,” she added.

Responding to Veena’s distress regarding the incident, Ramesh said that he had already apologised to her and would do so in public if she wished him to.

“We were talking about health issues. I have known MLC Veena for a long time and she is like my sister. It was not my intention to misbehave with her. I will apologise publicly if she wishes it,” he added.

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