Report: Indian Politician Hospitalized After Drinking River Water to Prove It Was Clean

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann (C) at the Ram Tirath Temple on the outskirts of Amritsar on July 5, 2022. (Photo by Narinder NANU / AFP) (Photo by NARINDER NANU/AFP via Getty Images)
NARINDER NANU/AFP via Getty Images

Authorities in Punjab, India, airlifted a top local politician to the hospital this week after he reportedly became sick from drinking river water that he had consumed in an attempt to convince constituents the water was clean.

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann visited the Kali Bein river in Sultanpur Lodhi on Sunday, marking 22 years since the cleaning of the river, the Indian Express reported.

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To show that the river was clean, Mann scooped a glass of water from the river and drank it in front of a crowd.

Two days later, Mann was suffering from severe stomach pains at his residence in Chandigarh and was airlifted 151 miles (244 kilometers) south to Indraprastha Apollo Hospital in Delhi that night, according to various sources, per the Indian Express.

Doctors diagnosed Mann with an infection, the New Indian Express reported.

While recovering in the hospital, the chief minister “took to Twitter to congratulate the Punjab Police and the Anti-Gangster Task Force for successfully executing an operation against two shooters allegedly involved in the murder of singer-turned-politician Sidhu Moosewala,” the Indian Express noted.

Mann was reportedly released from the hospital Thursday.

The chief minister’s office has not confirmed if he was admitted to the hospital. No reports have proven a relationship between Mann’s drinking of the Kali Bein river water and his reported hospitalization.

The Independent noted that it did not detract social media users from mocking Mann, with some dubbing the downing of the water a “failed PR stunt.”

Mann made a public appearance Saturday at a clinic in Mohali, Punjab, the Indian Express reported.

You can follow Ethan Letkeman on Twitter at @EthanLetkeman.

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