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'Not Affected as I am a Minister': Ramdas Athawale's Gaffe on Fuel Price Hike Draws Flak

The minister, however, acknowledged that people were suffering from rising fuel prices and it was the duty of the government to reduce them.


Updated:September 15, 2018, 9:40 PM IST
'Not Affected as I am a Minister': Ramdas Athawale's Gaffe on Fuel Price Hike Draws Flak
File photo of Union minister Ramdas Athawale.
Jaipur: Union Minister Ramdas Athawale on Saturday confessed that the increase in petrol and diesel prices did not bother him as he is a minister, inviting criticism for his “insensitivity”.

“I am not suffering from rising fuel prices as I am a minister,” he said, referring to the allowances he gets. “I may suffer if I lose my ministerial post,” Athawale continued when he was asked if he was personally affected by the rising prices.

The minister, however, acknowledged that others were affected more. “It is understandable that people are suffering from rising fuel prices and it is the duty of the government to reduce them,” the Union minister of state for social justice and empowerment said.

He said the price of fuel can be reduced if the states cut the tax on it, adding that the Centre was seriously working on the issue.

The minister’s remarks did not go down well with netizens, many of whom accused him of making light of the situation.

The rising prices of petrol and diesel have given rise to a war of words between the Congress and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The Opposition had also called a Bharat Bandh on September 10 to protest against the skyrocketing rates.

Reacting to the criticism, the BJP had said the problem being faced by the people was momentary and caused by global factors. Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad also hit out at the Congress and its allies, alleging that they resorted to violence during the Bharat Bandh due to lack of support from the masses.
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