Cong, BJP attack Delhi govt on soaring onion prices, AAP says will resume selling at subsidised rate

Vinod Tripathi

New Delhi, Nov 7 (PTI) Delhi Congress leaders and workers wearing onion garlands hit the streets and BJP's Leader of Opposition in the assembly Vijender Gupta met Lt Governor Anil Baijal on Thursday over the skyrocketing prices of the commodity in city markets.

Gupta alleged that there has been an 'onion scam' in Delhi and demanded a probe into it.

Delhi Congress chief Subhash Chopra accused the ruling Aam Aadmi Party of being 'in league' with hoarders and held it responsible for high onion prices.

However, the Delhi government has asked officials to resume selling onions at subsidised rates through mobile vans.

AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj said the BJP and the Congress should first give an example where they have distributed onions through mobile vans in the states ruled by them.

The AAP government had been selling onions, procured from the Centre, at a subsidised rate of Rs 23.90 per kg but when the prices stabilised it stopped because people complained about the quality of onions, Bhardwaj said. 'They were rotten,' he told PTI over phone.

As the prices have again started escalating, 'we have already requested the Central government to provide us onions which are good in quality', he said.

'We are expecting the central government or the NAFED ( National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India) to provide us 10 lorries or 10 truck loads of onions per day. However, like last time, we are concerned that the Central government will provide us only one truck load of onion per day and as soon by November 8 we will start getting that supply and start distributing it.' Delhi Congress chief spokesperson Mukesh Sharma said his party will hold 'Chakkajam' across the city if onion prices do not climb down quickly.

Chopra, like other protesters, wore a garland of onions and said the price has been rising for couple of months 'without any checks' by the AAP government in Delhi and the BJP-ruled Centre.

He warned AAP that the BJP government in Delhi was voted out by people in 1998 over the high prices of onion, and added that people would do the same in assembly elections early next year as it has 'failed' to control prices of other essential commodities as well.

Gupta too alleged that the AAP government has 'failed' to tackle onion shortage in Delhi.

'Delhi government turned deaf ears when the central government repeatedly offered it to buy onion at the rate of Rs 15.90 per kg, out of its buffer stock of 57,000 metric ton, during lean period,' Gupta accused.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Friday said his government has sought more onion from the Centre and assured that supply will start soon after the demand is met.

Both the BJP and Congress have claimed that onion prices soared at Rs 100 per kg in Delhi. However, the prices fluctuated from Rs 70-80 in the markets in different parts of the city.

Delhi Food and Civil Supplies Minister Imran Hussain on Wednesday held a meeting with his department officers to review the issue of 'sudden and unexplained' rise in onion prices.

Hussain had directed agencies to work in coordination with each other to ensure timely, regular and adequate supply of onions through mobile vans. PTI VIT UZM VIT ABHABH