Senior Communist Party of India (CPI) leader in Rajya Sabha Binoy Viswam has demanded a discussion on the rising prices of onion and pulses in recent times. He has served a notice under rule 267 for suspending the business of the House and take up the issue of spiralling price of essential food items.
In his letter addressed to House chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu, Viswam said that it was a matter of great concern and urgency to the whole nation that there has been an exponential rise in the price of essential commodities such as onions and pulses that have made it difficult for the common citizen to survive.
"With the reduction in purchasing power, the actual effect of the ongoing economic crisis is being felt in the daily food of the common person," Viswam said.
He also cited incidents of onion thefts and looting that have been reported from various parts of the country and numerous protests against the price rise have taken place as well.
"The political apathy that is displayed towards the struggles of the common Indian is a matter of shame. The Government's inability to address this growing crisis and its impact on the lives of each and every person living in India, has made it imperative that today we discuss this issue on the floor of the House," the Rajya Sabha member stated.
AAP govt blames Centre for shortage
Earlier on Sunday, Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia accused the central government of trying to create an onion scarcity as the vegetable touched the Rs 100 mark in the national capital. Addressing the media along with food and civil supplies minister Imran Hussain, Sisodia said the Centre had failed to provide onions in Delhi as assured in writing on September 5. Either prices had rocketed as onion stocks got spoiled due to Centre's negligence or there were ill-motivated efforts to benefit hoarders, he said.
Stating that people are upset about the rising onion price, Sisodia said, "It's the case across the country. But in Delhi, the central government was consciously creating shortage. It has stopped providing onions to Delhi government despite repeated requests.".
On September 5, the Centre wrote to the Delhi government that they had 56,000 tonnes of onions and asked the state to lift the vegetable as required. "Soon, the Delhi government intimated that it would take and distribute 10 trucks of onions — 2.5 lakh kg — a day on subsidised rates to stop hoarding," Sisodia said.
They also asked about provision of onions on a daily basis till December 9, he added.
However, it released only 3-4 trucks a day instead of 10 truckloads of onions, the deputy chief minister said. "We set up teams and facilities in every Assembly seat to sell onions at the subsidised rates. Where is the stock of onions that the Union government claimed in writing? Why it allowed huge stock to rotten away?" he said.
Stating that not a single truckload of onion was provided on after November 24, the AAP leader said, "Not releasing it irrespective of huge stock as claimed indicates that the Centre is trying to create the scarcity, probably for the benefits of hoarders and other vested interest groups."
Hussain said the Centre stopped the onion supply even as the city government set up infrastructure of mobile vans, fair price shops and made provisions for required manpower.
"I request Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan to release onions to be sold at subsidised rate in the national capital," Hussain said.
First Published: IST