What onion prices can do to the government?

As the elections are coming closer the price of onions is shooting upwards. Onion is one of the main ingredients without which the regular Indian cuisine is incomplete. The Indian mass cannot cook their staple recipes without it. The sudden price hike has made people point their fingers at the ruling party. The Congress is trying to control the onion prices but it seems that nature is conspiring against their efforts. The heavy rains of this year have destroyed crops and onions could not be harvested in time. Scarcity has given inflation a boost against the will of the reigning Congress.


The common Indian families cannot afford to buy onion which is now being sold at 100 rupees per kilo. Paying four times more for the same amount of onions is a Herculean feat for the average Indian families who have to strive to make both ends meet. October and November are the months of festival in India and people want to serve special dishes at home to their loved ones and guests. Dishes like mutton or chicken curry, biriyani and daily staples like bhajis cannot be cooked without onions. The demand for onions has raised 30% in the past five years. Meeting the growing demand has become a difficulty for the governments. The exorbitant price hike of onion has previously caused the fall of state governments. The rising onion prices is a good reason for the ruling party members to be worried as elections in Rajasthan, Madhyapradesh, New Delhi, Mizoram and Chhattisgarh are just round the corner.

The chief minister of Delhi, Sheila Dikshit, has requested the black marketers to stop hoarding the onions to help in handling the crisis. The inflation rate reached the highest point in seven months due to the unbelievable 323% hike in onion prices. As a result the Central Bank had to increase the interest rates. It seems that the economic condition of India is changing for the worse. Heavy rains in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Karnataka and Maharashtra has demolished 5%-10% of the harvested onions. This may keep the promise made by ministers regarding the reduction of onion prices from getting fulfilled. New Delhi is now planning to import onions until the crisis is over from neighboring countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan.

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