Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was quite visibly embarrassed when a woman placed a peck on his cheek at a public meeting in Bengaluru on Sunday.

The incident happened at a programme organised by the Karnataka Pradesha Kuruba Sangha to felicitate the newly elected members of zilla panchayats and taluk panchayats, at the palace grounds here.

Standing next to Chief Minister for a group photo, Girija Srinivas, who is the Tarikere Taluk Panchayat member from Amruthapura in Chikmagalur district, gave a peck on his cheek in a moment of joy, and walked away.

Siddaramaiah, visibly embarrassed by the incident, wiped his cheek with a big smile.

Speaking to a TV channel, the woman said she was happy that the CM was also a Kuruba, and called him a “lion of the community”. She added,

“I was overjoyed by the fact that I was standing next to him. My family and I have always called him “Appaji” (father).”

She also clarified that placing a peck on Siddaramaiah’s cheek was not pre-planned. Srinivas hails from Varuna in Mysuru district which is Siddaramaiah’s assembly constituency. She is married to a man from Chikmagalur.

Speaking to reporters, Siddaramaiah said, “that girl is like my daughter.”

(With inputs from PTI)