After receiving criticism over an apathetic statement on soaring onion prices, Union Minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey clarified that his statement was being quoted out of context. Choubey, opining over the rise in onion prices in the country said that he is a "vegetarian," thus is clueless about the market prices. Ashwini Choubey's response comes even as the country is reeling under the rising prices of onions. The Union Minister distanced himself from the issue claiming that he has 'never tasted an onion.'
The Minister of State (MoS) for Health and Family Welfare claimed that he himself came from a family of farmers and was aware of their difficulties, and added that one could eat or abstain from eating anything depending on one's choices. "The farmers grow onions and other crops, I myself come from a rural background, we used to grow it too. Yes, I do not consume it, I am 'Saatvik' I do not eat even garlic, what is the news in that. Some people are vegetarians and others are non-vegetarians. There is a futile attempt to make a controversy out of it," Choubey said. He further added, "The Centre is fully aware of the situation and is working hard to ensure that the farmers get the right prices for their crops."
Ashwini Choubey also lauded Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's statement in the Parliament over the steps being taken by the Centre. He said, "Our Finance Minister gave an excellent reply to the question in the Parliament, the government is concerned about the rising onion prices and is seeking ways to control it." Amid the onion debate, Sitharaman was heavily criticised for stating that she does not eat 'onions.' In response to the backlash, Sitharaman attacked the Congress party citing the soar in onion prices back in 2012, under the UPA regime.
Speaking in the Parliament, Sitharaman asked the Opposition, "Aushmaan Bharat is that for elitists?" She also quoted the earlier Finance Minister's comments from 2012 when inflation was at its peak. "Then in 2012 when price rise was high, 'When the Urban middle class can buy a bottle of mineral water for Rs 15 and ice cream for Rs 20, why do they make so much noise about price rise?' And these are people accusing me of being elitist? This government of being elitist? I absolutely condemn this approach."
(With ANI inputs)