Union Minister Ramdas Athawale on Friday stood with Bollywood celebrities Akshay Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan after Maharashtra Congress President Nana Patole threatened to stall their films for "failing to speak up" on burning public issues.
"Congress' Nana Patole's threat to Akshay Kumar & Amitabh Bachchan for not tweeting against fuel price hike by Centre is not okay. My party is with them. If Congress threatens to disturb their shoot, we'll give them protection," said the Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment.
On Thursday, Patole said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has hiked petrol-diesel-gas prices exorbitantly, while farmers have been protesting outside Delhi for the past nearly three months.
However, in the midst of these grave crises, many celebs including Amitabh Bachchan and Akshay Kumar, who had raised their voices against the Congress-led UPA Government in the past on various issues, are now absolutely silent, and he cautioned that the party would stop their film shootings/screenings for keeping aloof.
"The Modi regime has hiked fuel prices with petrol going up to Rs 100, domestic cooking gas cylinders up to Rs 800. Life has become miserable for the common masses. Even the farmers are protesting outside Delhi, demanding the revoking of the three new farm laws," Patole said.
"Compared with the rates during the UPA government, the prices of fuel are nearly double now in the 7 years of BJP rule. At that time all these celebs spoke out against the government, but now they are scared of the BJP and keeping mum," Patole said.
Meanwhile, Ramdas Athawale said the fuel prices have been increased because the "government needs money to develop the economy and serve people".
"Govt needs money to develop economy & serve people. From where that money would come? Govt presented a good Budget despite the fact that factories were closed during lockdown. That is why prices (of petrol & diesel) have been slightly raised," he said.