#MehengaiMaarGayi: Cong trolls BJP online and offline over skyrocketing onion prices

Onions are the new talking point for politicians in India.

More specifically, the skyrocketing onion prices have become a way for the opposition to take potshots at the BJP-led government.

Take the Congress Twitter handle for example.

The party today took to Twitter with the hashtag "MehengaiMaarGayi" and shared what they thought was the "perfect" gift for the wedding season.

Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari too began his day with a message that read, "Indian onion is stronger than American Dollar".

But while the social media battle raged on, there was a physical manifestation of this too.

In the Delhi Assembly, the Leader of Opposition, Vijender Gupta was marshalled out of the House and his three colleagues staged a walkout after their request for a discussion on the steep increase in onion prices was turned down by the Speaker on Tuesday.

And in the Rajya Sabha today an MP accused the government of remaining a "mere spectator" as onion prices soared and hoarders benefited from the situation.

During the Zero Hour, CPM's K K Ragesh said onion prices have touched Rs 120 a kg in several parts of the country. He quoted a government statement to say that 32,000 tonne of onion rotted in godowns, but was not released in the market so that prices could come down.

Ragesh said that onion prices rise during October and November every year.

"Government was aware of the rise in demand but unfortunately...it played a mere spectator's role," he said. He asked the government to intervene in the market to bring down prices of onion.

But the onion debate was not limited to the Upper House. The Lok Sabha too was in a state of uproar after question hour, when Leader of Congress party in Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury raised the issue of steep prices.

BJP members interrupted Chowdhury's comments on the escalating onion price (he claimed they were selling at Rs. 130 per kg, Rs 140 per kg) to demand that he apologise for calling the Prime Minister and the Home Minister "infiltrators". They also demanded that he withdraw his "nirbala" remarks about the Finance Minister.

Ironically, Chowdhury had just said that the government should apologize to people for the price rise of onions.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal said Chowdhury had made remarks against Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharman and added that he should be allowed to speak only after he apologises.

During the Zero Hour on Tuesday, when Chowdhury rose to speak on onion prices, BJP leader Poonam Mahajan referred to a rule to slam the Congress leader for his remarks.

"You are nirbal (weak) as you stand for one family. You are weak as you call the prime minister an infiltrator," she said amid noisy protests by BJP members.

It is not just the Congress who have jumped onto the onion discourse. AAP MP Sanjay Singh on Tuesday said that the central government is involved in a big onion scam. He was spotted sporting a garland of onions and chanted slogans in front of Mahatma Gandhi's statue in the Parliament.

"There is a big scam related to onions. The central government is saying that 32 thousand metric tonnes of onion have decayed. The Delhi government had demanded 10 trucks of onion every day till December 9. From November 23, our onion supply was stalled by the central government," Singh told ANI.

"The central government on September 5 had said that they had 56 thousand metric tonnes of onion. Then how did 32 thousand tonnes of onion decay? Why did the government not make available those onions at a lower price? They can let the onions decay but not make them available to the public," he added.

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(With inputs from agencies)