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. He also referred to free schooling and the coronavirus vaccination offered by the government. “People are getting so much for free that a slight increase in fuel prices does not matter,” he reasoned.