Congress leader Siddaramaiah, caught on camera slapping a party worker, tweeted on Wednesday that the incident was "blown out of proportion", indicating that this was an instance of him "expressing affection".
Siddaramaiah, a former Karnataka Chief Minister, was seen slapping the worker at the Mysuru airport in a video that was widely circulated. The worker reportedly tried to give him the phone and make him talk to someone for a favour.
"Nadanahalli Ravi is like my son. I have been his guide for long time and there are many such followers with me," Mr Siddaramaiah tweeted later in the evening, as he was criticized on social media for the apparent high-handed behavior.
"There will always be instances of me expressing affection and dissatisfaction out of concern. Today's incident is one such thing but was blown out of proportion," tweeted the Congress leader.
The supporter also sought to downplay the incident, describing Mr Siddaramaiah as a "father figure" who slapped him out of affection. "Please don't take it otherwise. Siddaramaiah is like my father and he slapped me treating me like his son," he said.
The incident took place when Mr Siddaramaiah was leaving the airport after speaking to the media on the arrest of his party colleague DK Shivakumar.
The former chief minister is prone to displays of anger. In January, he snatched the mic from a woman Congress worker who was complaining about a local MLA. In the process, he accidentally pulled her dupatta.
When the video became a rage online, the Congress leader said the woman was "like his sister" and what had happened was unintentional.
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