A Tamil Nadu minister found himself at the centre of a controversy after he told a woman journalist she was beautiful, while trying to evade questions from her.
Health minister C Vijayabaskar on Friday expressed regret over the remark, saying he was replying to queries from a "sister", clarifying that it was done to avoid replying to a political question.
The journalist posed questions about the deliberations at the ruling party meet when Vijayabaskar emerged from the AIADMK headquarters here.
The video footage of the minister's brief conversation was aired on Friday by 'Puthiya Thalaimurai,' the channel the journalist represented, and some other channels.
In the footage, he is seen gently pushing the mike away, saying "Madam, you look good with your spectacles on," apparently trying to avoid a question posed to him.
The video shows the scribe continuing with her question while telling him that she always had her spectacles on.
Vijayabaskar, who keeps walking towards his car and greeting supporters, is seen remarking "today you are beautiful."
"A press release will be given (by the party)..senior leaders will talk," he says in reply to her question.
As the reporter persists with her queries, he says "you are beautiful" and repeats it.
The minister, when he met reporters on Friday, said "that sister posed some political questions...generally, I do not answer political questions and reply only to those related to my department."
"I attempted just to avoid political question. If I had hurt her, I am sorry. I spoke to her and expressed my regret as well," Vijayabaskar said.
On Thursday evening, hours after a resolution was passed in the Assembly on the Cauvery issue urging the Centre to set up the Cauvery Management Board and Cauvery Water Regulatory Committee, a meeting of the ruling party MLAs was held at the AIADMK headquarters here which the minister attended.