With Bihar assembly polls on the horizon, onion price hike is giving jitters to the BJP which fears that it may harm it politically as in the past. The BJP’s apprehension is also fuelled by the fact that the party rules the biggest onion growing state of Maharashtra.
A very senior BJP leader accepted that the steep price rise of onion -- a ‘political vegetable’ too hot to handle since it lost the 1998 Delhi election on the same food inflation issue -- is a “temporary setback” but stressed that it would peter out once corrective measures were initiated.
The Congress’ women’s wing held a dharna outside BJP headquarters at 11 Ashok Road here on Monday, sensing an opportunity to take on the Modi government regarding the scarcity of the vegetable.
On Saturday, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had attacked the Centre for remaining a mute spectator and ignoring “sufferings of the people.”
Given the suspicion that the Opposition parties might capitalise on onion price rise in the Bihar elections, the party leader said that government was cracking down on hoarders to ensure availability of onions. The Centre has asked the government in Maharashtra to penalise hoarders and ease onion supply at Lasalgaon.