Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal tweeted a cartoon on Thursday, 3 March, showing Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a bridge over a river for Indian students in Ukraine to traverse to reach India.
"India's Bridge of Hope," Goyal wrote in his post on Twitter.
This comes in the backdrop of the Indian government's Operation Ganga evacuation ops, under which special flights are being deployed to bring stranded Indians back from Ukraine.
Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had said on Wednesday that 17,000 Indians had left Ukraine since the government issued its first advisory, and that 15 flights were scheduled to take off in the next 24 hours to evacuate those still remaining.
Meanwhile, Union Minister for Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia said on Thursday that eight flights were scheduled to arrive in Bucharest to evacuate 1,800 stranded Indian citizens, news agency ANI reported.
Goyal's Tweet Draws Flak
The cartoon, which was also tweeted by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Lok Sabha MP Tejaswi Surya and Union Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Rajeev Chandrasekhar, has been drawing a lot of flak on Twitter.
While some said that this was not the first time India had launched evacuation missions abroad, others accused Goyal of "sycophancy" and indulging in "propaganda."
Some also said that bringing Indians back from war-afflicted areas was the government's basic responsibility, and that such "chest-thumping" was unwelcome.