A minister in the Madhya Pradesh government who had gone to help people stranded at a flooded area in the state himself got stuck and he had to be airlifted.
State Home Minister Narottam Mishra while on a survey of flood-hit Datia district found nine people stranded on a roof, surrounded by water. The house except for the terrace was completely submerged. Mr Mishra is an MLA from the same area.
On seeing them, Mr Mishra, who was on a boat of the State Disaster Response Force along with some relief workers, managed to reach the people, despite high winds and choppy water.
Just before the minister could make arrangement for rescuing the stranded people, a tree broke off and fell on the boat, after which the motor couldn't start, an official said.
Soon, Mr Mishra sent messages to government officials after which a helicopter of the Indian Air Force was sent to rescue him and nine others, the official said.
The minister first ensured that all the stranded people were rescued and after that the IAF personnel lowered a rope by which Mr Mishra was safely pulled up.
Visuals show the minister - in a white kurta and black jacket - grabbing the rescue line dropped from the hovering helicopter firmly and swaying in the wind.
MP home minister @drnarottammisra was airlifted by from Kotra village in Datia he went by boat to Kotra where 9 persons were stranded but the boat fell flat as the boat got stuck due to a collapsed tree @INCMP says "stunt" for competitive politics @firstname.lastname@example.org/hYlw7fDUEL— Anurag Dwary (@Anurag_Dwary) August 4, 2021
Mr Mishra has visited a number of flood-affected villages in Datia district to supervise rescue operations and relief camps.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has also survey some flood-hit areas. "Two bridges in Datia district collapsed due to flooding. A crack emerged on a bridge over National Highway 3, so it has been closed as a precaution," Mr Chouhan said.
The Congress criticised the incident as a publicity stunt gone wrong. "The way our Home Minister tried to act like Spiderman was dangerous for himself, the stranded people and those who had gone with him. It was only a publicity stunt that went wrong," Congress leader Bhupendra Gupta told NDTV.