Union minister Ramdas Athawale has clarified his remark on rising prices of petrol and diesel, saying he did not intend to hurt sentiments of people. Speaking to news agency ANI, the minister said that he was aware of the problems faced by common man.
Clarifying his previous statement, the Republican Party of India leader said, "Journalists had asked me prices of petrol and diesel are rising, if I have any problem with it. I had said I've no problem, I'm a Minister, we're provided govt vehicles. But people do face problems and prices should be brought down. I didn't say this to insult anyone."
"If it has hurt people's sentiments, I express my apology. I had no intention to do this. I am a common man who became a Minister. I know the problems people face. I am a part of the government and I demand that the price of petrol-diesel should be brought down," the Union minister added.
Athawale had earlier said that he was not affected by the fuel price hike as he was a minister. “I am not suffering from rising fuel prices as I am a minister. I may suffer if I lose my ministerial post,” he had said during a visit to Jaipur in Rajasthan.
The minister had, however, acknowledged the fact that the common man was suffering due to the hike in fuel prices. “It’s understandable that people are suffering from rising fuel prices and it’s the duty of the government to reduce them,” the Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment had said.
He had also assured that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government was working on the matter. “The price of fuel can be reduced if the states cut the tax on it. The Centre is seriously working on the issue,” he had said.