New Delhi, Dec 2: Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Sunday blamed the Union government for soaring onion prices across the country and said the Centre is deliberately trying to create a shortage of this vegetable in the capital.
Addressing a press conference at his residence in the presence of Food and Civil Supplies Minister Imran Hussain, Mr Sisodia said, "The Union government has failed to procure onions for Delhi, as per its promise.
"This issue arose either due to spoilage of onion stocks owing to the government's negligence or its ill-motivated efforts to benefit the interests of hoarders", the Deputy Chief Minister said.
He said people of Delhi, along with the whole country, are having a tough time due to high price of the much-sought after vegetables.
"However, in Delhi, the Central government is creating this problem on purpose," he alleged.
"Central government has stopped providing onions to Delhi government, despite our repeated requests,'' Mr Sisodia said.
"When the onion prices started to hike, on September 5, the Central government wrote to Delhi government that they had 56,000 metric tonne stock of onions and asked us to procure onions as required.
'Soon, Delhi government intimated the Centre that it would distribute 10 trucks of procured onions, that is 2.5 lakh kilos at a subsidised rate in the capital every day, so that hoarding of onions can be stopped,' he said.
'We asked for the provision of onions on daily basis till December 9. Irrespective of the written assurance of the onion stock in huge quantity, the Union government has not released more than 3-4 (only 13,000 kg-14,000 kg of onions) trucks on average per day, that too not full,' Mr Sisodia said.
"The entire machinery of the Food and Civil Supplies department of Delhi government has been prepared to sell 10 trucks of onions per day. We have set up teams and facilities in every assembly constituency to sell onions at lower price.
'But unfortunately, the Union government stopped provision of onions. I want to ask the Centre why it has stopped provision of onions to the Delhi government?,' the Deputy CM questioned.
'Where is the stock of onions that the Union government claimed in writing on September 5? Why the Union government allows huge onion stock to be rotten away?", he asked.
"Release 10 truckloads of onion every day, we are well-prepared with the complete machinery to sell that much onions everyday", he demanded. (UNI)