16/09/2018 1:44 PM IST | Updated 16/09/2018 7:24 PM IST

'I Am Not Bothered By Fuel Hike As I Am A Minister And I Get Free Fuel,' Says Ramdas Athawale

Ramdas Athawale is a minister in Narendra Modi's cabinet.

Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale.

Ramdas Athawale, Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment in the Modi government, has revealed why he is not bothered by the record hike in fuel prices.

"I am not bothered as I am a minister and I get free fuel. If I was not a minister then yes, I would have been troubled with the increase in fuel price," he said, while speaking at the Press Club in Jaipur on Saturday, Hindustan Times reported today.

Athawale added, "It is understandable that people are suffering from rising fuel prices and it is the duty of the government to reduce them."

Athawale, a minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet and a Rajya Sabha lawmaker from Maharashtra, leads the Republic Party of India (RPI), an ally of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

Indians are reeling under record prices of petrol and diesel, a consequence rising global oil prices and the Modi government's taxation and excise policy on petrol and diesel. "The price of fuel can be reduced if the states cut the tax on it. The Centre is seriously working on the issue," said Athawale.

READ: Record Petrol, Diesel Prices Are Hurting Narendra Modi's Middle-Class Voters

Petrol price in Mumbai today is Rs. 89.29 per litre followed by Delhi and Chennai at Rs. 81.91 and Rs. 85.15 per liter respectively. Diesel prices in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai are Rs. 78.26, Rs. 73.72 and Rs.77.94 per liter respectively. The price of petrol and diesel in Kolkata is Rs. 83.76 and Rs. 75.57 per litre respectively.

Twitter users slammed Athawale's remarks.

While speaking on the subject of reservation in Jaipur, Athawale said that upper castes could be given 25 percent reservation. "I believe if a bill is passed to ensure 25 per cent reservation for the poor among the upper castes, it will be beneficial to all... the upper castes think Dalits get reservation while they are deprived of it..." he said, Press Trust of India reported. "I think that all will benefit if the reservation limit is enhanced to 75 per cent from the present 50 per cent... all political parties will have to help the government in this regard."

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