New Delhi: With rising onion prices keeping the government on tenterhooks, Congress on Thursday suspected "some conspiracy" by middlemen at the behest of forces inimical to the party ahead of Assembly polls in five states this year.
Party spokesperson Meem Afzal also appealed to media to verify facts before publishing the price of onion in the market, saying it was projecting rates higher than what was the actual the cost in the market.
The Congress spokesperson, however, said the real problem was the paucity in the market and he was not blaming media for it. "If onions are available in market, this conspiracy will not be carried out," Afzal said, demanding a check on forward trading of onions.
"Elections are to be held in five states. One doubts whether some conspiracy is being hatched and onion is not being allowed to go outside godowns. Whether middlemen are involved in any conspiracy at the behest of some forces (against Congress)?" Afzal told reporters here.
He said onion is generally brought to Delhi from Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh. Two of the states are BJP-ruled.
He said it is the bounden duty of the state government to check and address any problem in bringing the produce to Delhi.
Appealing to media to cross check the prices of onions in market before showing it on television, the Congress spokesperson also presented a market slip of onion brought from a shop in Dariaganj area, claiming that while the kitchen staple is being sold there at Rs 60 to 65 per kg, television channels are showing the price as Rs 100.
He said when media shows higher price of onions, it encourages shopkeepers to hike the prices.
"I am not saying that the rate of onion at Rs 65 per kg is less. All efforts should be made to bring it down. There are many factors for it. Monsoon has come late. The prices can also rise due to hoarding. State governments have been requested to take measures to control this. Speculative buying is another reason behind it," he said.