Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: As the prices of onions and other vegetables have sent the budgets of many homes in the country haywire, Union Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal on Wednesday said that the government has nothing to do with the spiralling onion prices.
"Ask traders about this? The government does not sell onions," Sibal said when asked about the increasing onion prices in the country. With the public sentiments high on the increasing food prices, the Congress leader’s statement is certain to bring in huge embarrassment for the central government.
Earlier, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar had received flak over his comments that one shouldn’t complaint about the rising onion prices, as it benefits farmers.
Meanwhile, criticising the Union Minister’s comments, CPI leader D Raja said that Sibal’s statement is very careless and insensitive.
Onion prices both in wholesale and retail markets in most parts of the country have seen a sharp increase since July. In the national capital, retail prices of onion are ruling as high as Rs 80 per kg on short supply from key growing states.
The Centre has directed all state governments, including Maharashtra, to take action against traders and speculators keeping onion prices artificially high by taking advantage of the seasonal shortage.
The spiralling prices of onions were deemed one of the factors which cost Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) its government in Delhi in Assembly Election in 1998. Since then it has failed to return to power.