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Indian legislator ridiculed for being carried through floods

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Madhya Pradesh state chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan targeted on Twitter after being presented carried aloft by his entourage

A senior Indian politician has been widely taunted after photos presented police officers carrying him through ankle-deep muddieds water while inspecting deadly floods in the centre of the country.

Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh state, was shown wearing crisp white trousers and white shoes as he was carried aloft through the flood water in a field, trailed by his entourage.

Abhisek Rai Akrant (@ AtrangiLekhak) August 21, 2016

That’s Shivraj Singh chauhan, MP’s Chief Minister. This is wrong on so many levels. #ModiSarkar #AcheDin #BJP pic.twitter.com/ ekK6OMo 7lU

The photo of a smiling Chouhan with his arms around two officers constructed newspaper front pages and was met with ridicule on Twitter.

Most commentaries were lighthearted in a country where legislators are almost always flanked by a legion of fawning officials and security guards. Shame on Shivrajsinghchouhan. So embarrassing wetyourfeet my human, Twitter user Jennifer Fernandes wrote. Shivraj training Indian athletes for 400 m Relay 2020 Olympics, read another.

However, Chouhan was also accused of abusing his position, with comparings drawn to the therapy of British officers during colonial times.

A top government public relations officer defended Chouhan, saying it would have been dangerous for him to wade through the water himself. Nobody knew if the water level would rise abruptly or if the ground below was slippery, SK Mishra told AFP.

There was also the danger of a serpent or scorpion bite. He was desperate to fulfill the flood-affected people and the security guys could not have taken any chance.

Floods triggered by monsoon rains have claimed hundreds of lives across India. In Madhya Pradesh, at least 15 people have died after rivers burst and flooded villages, the Press Trust of India news agency said.

Chouhan himself posted pictures of his inundate visit on Twittter but skipped the controversial one, while on Monday his office denied releasing the image.

An Indian TV journalist was sacked in 2013 after he filed a report about inundates while perched on a survivors shoulders. The reporter claimed the person who is carried him while standing in ankle-deep water had hoisted him on to his shoulders as a sign of respect.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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