Irked over onion export ban, locals bar Lok Sabha poll campaigning in Maharashtra village: Report

Onions have always been a sensitive topic in India's elections, and its price fluctuations can also affect one's fate when it comes to voter sentiments.
Last Updated : 20 April 2024, 14:29 IST
Last Updated : 20 April 2024, 14:29 IST

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While the entire country is celebrating the biggest festival of democracy in the world—the Lok Sabha elections—certain parts seem unfazed by the promises of politicians since decisions taken by the powers that be have started affecting their lives in a negative way.

According to a report by DownToEarth, a Maharashtra village has prevented election candidates from campaigning on their territory because the former are upset with the onion ban imposed by the Centre.

Villagers of Deola taluk in Maharashtra's Nashik have put up a number of signboards that announce no candidate shall be allowed to enter the taluka for campaigning, according to the publication.

Onions have always been a sensitive topic in India's elections, and its price fluctuations can also affect one's fate when it comes to the votebanks.

The government of India, on March 22, 2024, had announced it's extension of the onion export ban. Initially, the ban was supposed to end on March 31.

“Farmers and traders sell produce on small margins and if that opportunity is taken away, it creates a heavy impact on finances. We even surrendered licenses in September 2023 to demand a rollback of export duty. For years, we have been suffering financially for a crop that can earn good money,” Pravin Kadam, director of Lasalgaon APMC (Agricultural Produce Market Committee), told the publication.

In a similar vein, NCP (SP) chief Sharad Pawar had said in a press conference in Nashik on March 13, "Farmers are unhappy with the present rulers. There is unhappiness among onion farmers in Nashik, Dhule, Pune and Satara. Farmers are unhappy over the sugarcane and ethanol policy of the Centre. They are unhappy over the prices of other agricultural produce. People are also unhappy due to unemployment. The ruling party will have to pay a price for it".

On April 3, the government allowed an additional 10,000 tonnes of onion exports to the UAE through the National Cooperative Exports Ltd (NCEL).

Though onion exports are banned, the government allows specified quantities of shipments to friendly nations on their requests.

India exported 9.75 lakh tonnes of onions between April 1, 2023 and August 4, 2023. The top three importing countries in value terms were Bangladesh, Malaysia and the UAE.

(With PTI inputs)

Published 20 April 2024, 14:29 IST

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