Athawale: RBI not letting govt give everyone Rs. 15 lakh
In the run up to the 2014 elections, Narendra Modi had promised that every person in the country would receive Rs. 15 lakh if Indians' black money stored in offshore accounts was recovered.
Four years and a demonetization later, the promise remains unfulfilled.
Now, Union Minister Ramdas Athawale has jumped to PM Modi's defense, albeit in arguably comical fashion.
Ramdas Athawale strikes again
Athawale says the fault lies with RBI
Speaking to media about the unfulfilled promise, Athawale told the press that money would come to people's accounts slowly, and not at one go.
He further said that the government earnestly wanted to give people Rs. 15 lakh each, but that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) wasn't lending the government the money required.
Athawale said these 'technical issues' had upset PM Modi's plan.
Athawale complains about the RBI
"Rs. 15 lakh (to everyone's account) will come slowly, not at a single time. Asked for money from the RBI but they are not giving. So the amount can't be collected. There are some technical issues," Athawale was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
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Athawale had made rather outrageous comments about fuel price rises
This isn't the first such political gaffe that Athawale has made.
Earlier this year in September, when people across India were feeling the pinch of rising fuel prices, Athawale had let his privilege known.
The minister had said that the fuel price rise didn't bother him, as he was a minister and was provided for by the government.
In December, Athawale was allegedly slapped in public.
Athawale's insensitive remark about the fuel price hike
"I am not suffering from rising fuel prices as I am a minister. I may suffer if I lose my..."post," Athawale had said, adding, "It is understandable that people are suffering from rising fuel prices and it's the duty of the government to reduce them."
Other bizarre things done/said by Athawale
Athawale has also done some bizarre things.
On one hand, he had called for Mumbai's Central Railway station be renamed after Dalit icon and social reformer Dr. B. R. Ambedkar.
On the other hand, he has also batted for upper caste reservation.
These contradictions aside, Athawale has also made his 12-year-old son the head of the 'children's wing' of his party, Republican Party of India (Athawale).