THE BUREAUCRAT-TURNED-POLITICIAN'S COMMENT
Car, bike owners not starving, can pay more for petrol: BJP minister
- TEAM PT
Car, bike owners not starving, can pay more for petrol: BJP minister



Bureacrat-turned-Union Minister KJ Alphons on Saturday yet again stoked a controversy when he said that people who own bikes and cars are not starving and can afford to pay higher prices for fuel.
 
Speaking to media at the Kerala state capital, Alphons said the Union government was imposing tax to help the poor lead a dignified life.
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"This is how bureaucrats, who come to politics, have no understanding of people's problems. Many of the ministers in Modi's government are like this."
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"Who buys petrol? Somebody who has a car or bike. Certainly he’s not starving. People who can afford to pay should pay,” he said, adding that people who always criticise fuel price hike should remember it is for the benefit of the country.
 
The bureaucrat-turned-politician’s comment come at a time when fuel prices are at a three-year high though international crude prices have crashed, attracting criticism from opposition parties which described them as insensitive to the common man’s problems.
 
Congress leader and former petroleum minister Veerappa Moily attacked Alphons saying it was an atrocious statement. "This is how bureaucrats, who come to politics, have no understanding of people's problems. Many of the ministers in Modi's government are like this."

He said during the UPA government any of the petroleum minister they had decided to pass on the benefit of low crude prices to consumers. "Anti-incumbency has set in against the government," he said.
 
Telangana Rashtra Samithi spokesman Bhanuprasad described Alphons’ statement as shocking. The government is still fleecing people when crude prices have come down, he said.
 
Another Congress spokesperson, Brajesh Kalappa said the minister's comments have added pain to people at a time when they have lost jobs and business is falling. "Just because somebody has a bike or a car can you say they have a life of luxury? This kind of statement is shocking and insensitive and the Prime Minister has to ask for his resignation."
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When asked if restrictions on beef consumption would impact tourism, he advised tourists to eat beef in their countries and then come to India. He said, "They (tourists) can eat beef in their own country and come here yaar." 
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Yesterday, the Delhi Congress hit out at the BJP-ruled Centre for the "historic” rise in prices of petrol and diesel. The party will launch a campaign to collect one million signatures against hike in the fuel prices and hold a mega demonstration at Jantar Mantar on September 20, said Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken. "The prices of petrol and diesel have touched the highest levels in the history of the country despite a fall in the prices of crude oil in the international market,” he said in a press conference, as per PTI.
 
This is not the first time Alphons made a controversial statement since he was made minister after Narendra Modi's latest cabinet reshuffle.

On 8 September, when asked if restrictions on beef consumption would impact tourism, he advised tourists to eat beef in their countries and then come to India. He said, "They (tourists) can eat beef in their own country and come here yaar." Incidentally, Alphons contradicted himself while making this statement as only days earlier, he had said, "The BJP does not mandate that beef cannot be eaten. We don't dictate food habits in any place. It is for the people to decide."
 
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