Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao on Sunday suggested that cloudbursts could be a result of a conspiracy by other countries to destabilise India, The Indian Express reported.

“There is this new phenomenon called cloudburst,” Rao said while visiting flood-affected areas in Bhadrachalam town. “This is what happened in the Godavari region which caused the flood. There are reports that these cloudbursts are a conspiracy by foreign sources. They first did a cloudburst in Leh-Ladakh, then in Uttarakhand, and now in the Godavari region.”

On July 8, a cloudburst near the Amarnath cave in Jammu and Kashmir had led to the death of 16 persons. On July 6, one person died in flash floods triggered by a cloudburst in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh.

A cloudburst refers to the phenomenon of an extreme amount of rain falling in a short period of time. The India Meteorological Department defines it as unexpected precipitation exceeding 100 mm (or 10 cm) per hour over a geographical region of approximately 20 sq km to 30 sq km.

In Telangana, incessant rainfall has resulted in a massive rise in the water levels of the Godavari river. At least 628 villages under 62 mandals located close to the river have been inundated and thousands of residents have been shifted to relief camps, according to The Indian Express. More than 30 habitations in Elamanchili, Narsapuram and Achanta mandals were impacted.

On Sunday, Rao visited the people in relief camps and announced the allocation of Rs 1,000 crore to construct colonies on higher ground to where local residents will be shifted, PTI reported. He also promised Rs 10,000 in immediate relief to each flood-affected family and 20 kg of free rice for each family for the next two months.

Rao’s remarks on cloudbursts invited criticism from the Opposition.

“This is totally a silly, immature and unscientific comment of an irresponsible CM,” Congress leader and Nalgonda MP Uttam Kumar Reddy said, according to the Deccan Herald. “He [Rao] is trying to divert public attention from failures in flood relief.”

The Bharatiya Janata Party said that Rao was delusional and needed care immediately.

“KCR [Rao] seems to have lost his mental balance,” state BJP chief Bandi Sanjay said, according to the newspaper. “He needs to be admitted to a psychiatric care centre immediately.”