The son of a minister in the West Bengal government suffered severe burns when he tried to set himself on fire at his residence in Krishnagar early on Sunday.
The police said Sayan Biswas, 22, son of minister for horticulture and food processing Ujjal Biswas, poured petrol on himself and lit a match stick.
His father rushed to save him and burnt his hand in the process, additional SP of Nadia district Arindam Dutta-Chowdhury said.
Sayan was taken to the Krishnagar Shaktinagar District Hospital and later referred to the Apollo Hospital in Kolkata.
The ASP said it was not known what drove Sayan to attempt suicide, though unconfirmed sources said it was family disagreement over his alleged love affair.