Uttar Pradesh Minister for sports and youth welfare, Upendra Tiwari, has finally come out to defend the continuing increase in fuel prices.

"Today, there are just a handful of people who travel in four-wheel vehicles and use petrol. At present, 95 per cent people do not need petrol," the minister told reporters at a function in Jalaun district on Thursday.

He also argued that fuel prices had not really risen in real terms if the per capita income is compared with that in 2014, referring to the year when a BJP-led government first came to power at the Centre.

He claimed that the opposition did not have any real issue to attack the government and was using fuel prices to continue its propaganda.

"You see the data before 2014. What is the per capita income after the formation of the Modi and the Yogi governments?" he said, referring to the BJP-led governments at the Centre and in Uttar Pradesh. "Today, the per capita income is double," he claimed.

95% people do not need BJP, reacts Akhilesh

Reacting to the minister's remarks, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Friday took a swipe at Tiwari and said, "the truth is that those people do not need the BJP."

"The BJP minister said that expensive petrol does not bother the general public because 95 per cent of the people do not need petrol. Now, even the minister will not need it as the people will soon put him out of power. The truth is that 95 per cent of the people do not need the BJP," Yadav said in a tweet in Hindi.

The SP president also asked, "Does Thar need diesel?" The obvious reference was to the recent Lakhimpur Kheri incident where four farmers were allegedly mowed down by a jeep (Mahindra Thar) owned by Union Minister Ajay Misra.