27 January, 2021

Scraps Of Dearness

In the nation’s misery over pricey onions, politicians smell an opportunity

Apoorva Salkade
Scraps Of Dearness
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

At a recent press meet on Sachin Tendulkar’s 200th Test, Sharad Pawar, who is Mumbai Cricket Association chief and Union agriculture minister at once, was miffed when a journalist asked him about onion prices. “This is not the place for it,” he snapped, even as officials ensured no further  questions on onions were asked. Usually open to questions and known for quick and spontaneous answers, this response was unusual. Pawar may try wishing the issue away by evading questions, but it may just not help. The nation is groaning under impossibly dear onion prices—the vegetable is still selling at around Rs 90 a kg in the north and Rs 70-75 a kg in Maharashtra at retail outlets. And it has potentially wrecked Diwali feasts all over the country.

Even as Pawar called the onion shortfall ‘temporary’ and tried to leaven things by saying farmers were getting a good rate for their produce, steep prices have singed all, especially so in north India. A team from the Delhi government—which has seen a change of guard once on onion prices,...

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