Madhya Pradesh minister Mahendra Singh Sisodia on Sunday said that people should be practical and accept a little inflation when their income is also rising.

“The government cannot give everything for free,” the minister said at a press briefing in Indore. “This is where the government gets its revenue from. This is what drives all government schemes.”

Sisodia, a Bharatiya Janata Party leader, was responding to a question on rise in fuel prices.

Fuel prices were hiked for the sixth straight day on Monday, reported NDTV. The prices of petrol and diesel were increased by 35 paise per litre in Delhi. With this, petrol now costs Rs 109.69 in the national Capital, and diesel Rs 98.42.

In Mumbai, a litre of petrol now costs Rs 115.50, and diesel Rs 106.62 per litre.

On Sunday, Sisodia said people cannot say that the prices of petrol and diesel should remain the same as they were 10 years ago even though their salaries have increased. “This is not possible at all,” he said.

He claimed that the income of all sections of society has gone up during the past few years.

The minister also asked if prices of commodities did not increase when the Congress was in power at the Centre.

“Has it [inflation] increased only under the Narendra Modi government?” he asked. “We have to accept that it is a continuous process.”

BJP leaders defend fuel price hike

Several Bharatiya Janata Party leaders have also given arguments similar to Sisodia’s to defend the rise in fuel prices.

In October, Uttar Pradesh minister Upendra Tiwari had claimed that only a handful of Indians who drive four-wheelers need petrol and 95% of the country’s population do not need it.

“It [fuel price] has not gone up anywhere,” he had said. “If you compare the per capita income with the hike in fuel prices, they still cost very little.”

In the same month, Union Minister for State of Petroleum and Natural Gas Rameswar Teli had said that fuel prices in the country were high because the government spent money to provide free Covid-19 vaccination to citizens.

In August, BJP’s MLA in Karnataka Aravind Bellad had claimed that the crisis due to Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan was responsible for the drop in global crude oil supply, resulting in the rise in fuel prices. In the same month, Madhya Pradesh BJP leader Ramratan Payal told a journalist to “go to Taliban” because fuel was available for Rs 50 in Afghanistan.

In July, Madhya Pradesh minister Om Prakash Saklecha justified the increase in fuel prices by saying that a person could feel pleasure only when there is pain.