New Delhi: Trying to use rising onion prices to its advantage ahead of Delhi assembly elections, state BJP on Sunday sold the kitchen staple at Rs 25 a kg against the market rate of around Rs 80, and lambasted the city government for its "total failure" in stabilising the rates.
Accusing the Delhi government of "inaction" in controlling the price of the vegetable, Delhi BJP president Vijay Goel demanded immediate removal of Food and Civil Supplies Minister Haroon Yusuf for his "complete failure to regulate the wholesale vegetable markets and take action against hoarders.
"It is appalling the way Delhi government first mismanaged the onion crisis and is now expressing its helplessness to control prices," he said.
Goel said, "This is typical of this government which has been expressing helplessness on every front -- be it price rise, hike in power tariffs, collapse of water supply, lack of development in unauthorised colonies and JJ clusters and growing crime against women."
He was speaking after starting sell of onions at Town Hall in central Delhi at Rs 25 a kg.
The Delhi government is selling onions between Rs 50-55 a kg at over 1,000 points across the city.
"This government is so insensitive that it has tried to garner publicity and brush this issue under the carpet by selling onions which are rotten and not fit for consumption," Goel alleged.
Delhi BJP has been attacking the city government on the issue of high onion prices. It held demonstration outside Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit`s official residence at 3, Motilal Nehru Marg in Central Delhi on Wednesday.
Incidentally, BJP was voted out of power in 1998 in Delhi following spiralling onion prices. The assembly polls in Delhi are slated for November.
A BJP leader said the party decided to sell onion at Rs 25 a kg to highlight the apathy of the Congress government towards tackling the "onion crisis" and to press for making onions available at affordable prices for common people.
Onions, a key ingredient in many Indian dishes, is selling at Rs 70-80 a kg in most areas of the city.
With onion prices shooting through the roof, Delhi government on Saturday had facilitated selling of the kitchen staple at around Rs 50 a kg at 1,000 points across the city.
A total of 150 mobile vans were deployed to sell onion across the city.
Yusuf said each of the vehicles has been visiting four places in a locality which means coverage of 600 points.
Besides, the vegetable is being made available at 400 stores, including 280 Mother Dairy outlets.
"There has been only a slight dip in the production of onions. This government knew in advance that hoarders could try to exploit the situation. But it did not act. Even now there has been no crackdown on the hoarders," Goel said.
The wholesale vegetable markets of Delhi are governed by Delhi government through Agricultural Produce and Marketing Committee.
"It is the duty of the government to regulate prices and ensure smooth supply of essential commodities. But today the prices of all essential commodities have skyrocketed due to corruption and gross inefficiency of the Congress government," he said. .