Assam minister to prove 8 people can have food for Rs 20

Guwahati, July 31 : Assam Agriculture Minister Nilomoni Sen Deka today said he would prove that eight people could have a proper meal for just Rs. 20 after his comment triggered widespread protests and strong reactions in the state. All major parties cutting across political ideologies had condemned it. Despite Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi distancing himself from Mr Deka's comments, the minister said, "I will not apologise for the comment - there is no question at all. Within a week I will call a press conference and explain to everyone how it is possible (meal for eight at Rs. 20)." '8 people can have food for Rs 20' Mr Deka, who is also the Horticulture and Food Processing Minister of the state, had earned the ire of the people by saying last week that eight persons can have a proper meal for Rs. 20, which means the cost of a single meal is just Rs. 2.5. Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had distanced himself from the comment saying it was Mr Deka's personal view. "I have never said that I will get a meal for Rs. 2.50. I do not know why he (Deka) said it and with what context. This was his personal view," Mr Gogoi had said. With Mr Deka reiterating his comment, various organisations across the state came out on the streets during the day and protested over the minister's meal remark. Many even burnt his effigies.