MUMBAI: Under fire for his comments that the rise in petrol and diesel prices doesn't bother him as he is a minister, Ramdas Athawale Sunday regretted his remarks and said he had no intention of hurting the sentiments of the common man.
In a statement issued in Mumbai, Athawale, a BJP ally and the Union Minister of State for Social Justice, said that he understands people are getting affected by the rising fuel prices.
"I do understand the feelings of people who are getting affected by the rising fuel prices. I had no intention of hurting the sentiments of the common man," he said.
Athawale, who heads a faction of the Republican Party of India (RPI), made the controversial remarks at a press conference at Jaipur Saturday.
"I am not suffering from rising fuel prices as I am a minister," he had said, referring to the allowances he gets. I may suffer if I lose my ministerial post," he had said.
Athawale was asked if he was personally affected by the rising fuel prices. However, at the same press meet, the minister acknowledged that others are affected more by the rising prices of 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, he had said at the press conference.