New Delhi: As Onion prices skyrocket across the country, the Opposition BJP and the Left closed ranks to slam the UPA government accusing it of remaining a "mute spectator" while the ruling alliance`s key ally Trinamool Congress also showed signs of discomfort.
The opposition parties also accused the Government of surrendering before market forces for the extraordinary increase in prices of the bulb.
With the price of onions-- which is perhaps the most essential ingredient for any Indian food--a matter of extreme political sensitivity, state governments vowed to take stern action against those involved in hoarding and blackmarketing of onions.
"As the prices go higher and higher, the government stands as a mute spectator, reflecting its helplessness before the market forces. The government has totally surrendered before the market forces," CPI leader D Raja said.
"It(Government) is making excuses that hoarding is the reason for the high prices of onions. If that is true, then it should have taken action," he said.
BJP president Nitin Gadkari faulted the "wrong" economic policies and "bad governance" of Congress party and the UPA for the sudden surge in onion prices which has nearly doubled to touch Rs 80 per kg in the last few days in several parts of the country.
Gadkari accused the government of being a failure in taking timely steps to check onion prices.
With Assembly elections in West Bengal due next year, Mamata Banerjee`s Trinamool apparently doest not want surging prices of the bulb to be an issue.
"We have always been against price rise be it for petrol or anything... We are against it(rise in onion prices)," TMC MP Partha Chatterjee said.
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit directed Food and Civil Supplies department to immediately conduct raids against hoarders of onions.
After a high-level meeting, Dikshit said government has decided to place order for direct purchase of onion from Nashik in Maharastra through NAFED (National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation) to overcome shortage of onion in the city.
The raids will start with immediate effect, said Food and Civil Supplies Minister Harun Yusuf.
Dikshit said departments concerned have been instructed to conduct raids on hoarders and take strict action against them.
"The action may include cancellation of their licenses even," said Yusuf.
In Patna, Deputy Chief Minister S K Modi said "the state government will not not allow hoarding and blackmarketing of onions ... We will punish those found to be involved in the illegal act."