New Delhi [India], September 17 (ANI): The Congress Party on Sunday slammed the cabinet minister Alphons Kannanthanam for his fuel price remark and said such irresponsible statement which ridicules the hardship of common man is unfortunate.

Newly-inducted Union Minister Alphons Kannanthanam on Saturday said those who can afford cars and bikes can also afford the fuel price hike.

Speaking to ANI, Congress leader Ajay Maken said Kannanthanam’s statement was indicative of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders’ arrogance.

“This statement is very unfortunate. The way he is ridiculing common man, he doesn’t know the hardship common person facing every day. This shows the high headedness and arrogance of the BJP leaders. This arrogance has put a screen on their eyes which do not let them see how people are spending out of their pocket which almost kills them,” Maken said.

Congress leader P.L.Punia also deplored Kannanthanam’s statement and said cabinet ministers should refrain from making such irresponsible remark.

“This is insensible statement and the cabinet ministers should not make such irresponsible remarks. This hike in fuel prices is not justifiable. When they were in opposition they used to come on streets and make hue and cry over fuel price hike and now they are making such statements,” he told ANI.

While trying to justify the consistent rise in the fuel price for which the Centre has been facing backlash, the union minister on Saturday said, “Who owns a vehicle and can afford to pay for fuel; will have to pay.”

“Who buys petrol? Somebody who has a car, bike; certainly he is not starving. Somebody who can afford to pay, has to pay,” Kannanthanam told the media on Saturday.

Kannanthanam said that the government is working for the welfare of the downtrodden to ensure electricity in every village, build houses and toilets, for which money is needed and the ruling dispensation is not stealing that money from anyone.

“We are imposing the taxes so that the poor have a dignified life. Money being collected today is not being stolen by us. It is going to cost enormous amount of money. So, we are going to tax people who can afford to pay,” he said.

The petrol and diesel prices have gone through the roof ever since the central government announced daily revision of fuel prices. Petrol price in Delhi on Tuesday was at Rs. 70.38 per litre, whereas in Mumbai a litre of petrol costs Rs. 79.48. (ANI)

This is published unedited from the ANI feed.