After facing major criticism on her remark over rising onion prices, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said that the erstwhile government that is labelling her as elitist do not have a right to do that. She slammed the Congress quoting their remarks when onion prices soared during their tenure.
Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, Sitharaman said: "I do not eat onion has become major criticism for this govt. They say I am elitist. I do not eat onions. They do not talk about the measures I have taken for onions. If out governmnet is elitist, then what about Ujjawala Yojana, Jan Dhan Yojana, are these elitist? Earlier in 2012 for onion price rise, they said 'when Urban middle class can buy a bottle of mineral water and ice cream for Rs 20 and Rs 15, why do they make so much noise on price rise?' How is this party levelling me as an elitist."
Congress senior leader P. Chidambaram, questioned if Nirmala Sitharaman ate avocados on Thursday, in retaliation to the Finance Minister's comment on onions. A day earlier, Finance Minister in an argument over the soaring onion prices in Lok Sabha said she does not eat much of 'onion or garlic.' In response to which, former Finance Minister said, "The Finance Minister said yesterday that she doesn't eat onions, so what does she eat? Does she eat avocado?"
Nirmala Sitharaman had said in the Lok Sabha that the government had taken several steps to check rising prices of onion and also initiated steps to improve technology for better storage of the kitchen staple. Attributing shortage to low production, the minister had said there were severe "structural problems" related to onions. Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba on Monday chaired a meeting of the Committee of Secretaries to review the issue of rising prices of onions across the country. In a video conference held with the Chief Secretaries of the 11 major onion producing states, the Gauba was briefed about the various steps being taken by the States to tackle the rising prices of onions.