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Amid soaring prices across India, onion spices up political debate

On Thursday, the onion prices which have been fluctuating for over a month in Delhi, touched Rs 109 per kg in many markets in the city

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Congress leaders P Chidambaram, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and others stage a protest against hike in onion prices at Parliament during the ongoing Winter session, in New Delhi, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019. (PTI Photo/Kamal Singh)
Congress leaders P Chidambaram, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and others stage a protest against hike in onion prices at Parliament during the ongoing Winter session, in New Delhi, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019. (PTI Photo/Kamal Singh)

Spiralling prices of onion in the country have become the talk of the town, and a subject of banter among politicians.

On Thursday, the which have been fluctuating for over a month in Delhi, touched Rs 109 per kg in many markets in the city.

The soaring rates may have made a common man's platter a little less appealing, but the ongoing debate over has surely spiced up verbal exchanges among a few in political circles.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday had said in Lok Sabha that the government has taken several steps to check rising prices of onion and to improve technology for better storage of the kitchen staple.

Adding a dash of humour to her statement, she, however, also said she doesn't eat much of onion or garlic, adding, "I belong to a family which does not eat onion and garlic."

When asked about Sitharaman's comment, former finance minister P Chidambaram, who arrived in Parliament on Thursday after spending 106 days in Tihar jail, quipped, "Does she eat avocado?"


Addressing a press conference later, Chidambaram, however, said his comments on the finance minister was not "sarcastic".

"I was not sarcastic, I was quoting her. They should have planned in advance, what is the point of importing (onion) now, when will they arrive. But if the finance minister says I don't eat onions, that shows the mindset of this government," he said.

Asked about the soaring prices of the bulb across the country, Union minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey said he is not aware of it as he never tasted onions.

The government had on Wednesday said that the state-run trading firm MMTC has placed another onion import order of 4,000 tonnes from Turkey and the shipments are expected to reach by mid-January.

From Facebook to Twitter, the social media too revelled in some humour over the rising prices of onion, while a few users offered some suggestions.

"Work in Silence, B| Let your Success Buy onion !!!! (FEELING PROUD) (sic)," user Raju Roy posted on Facebook and shared a picture of a basket carrying some onions.

Anchit Pandey, another Facebook user wrote in Hindi, "Can live without love ('pyaar'), but not without onion ('pyaaz')."

"What are you trying to say @nsitharaman if you are not eating onions, what you want from citizens of India they should also stop eating onions, you should try to decrease the prices," tweeted Aditya Jaiswal.

The remained a part of online conversation on Thursday on the social media, and many urged government to take steps to curb rising prices.

"Onion is one of the cheapest vegetables in India most of the times, if it increases beyond a point people will switch to other vegetables increasing the prices of those too. So it is not a great thing that onion prices are high," tweeted another user.

First Published: Thu, December 05 2019. 20:25 IST
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