New Delhi: Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Manoj Tiwari on Friday alleged that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government wants to "earn profit" by selling onions at Rs 23.90 per kilogram after buying it from the Centre at Rs 15.90.
Manoj Tiwari also charged that the AAP government of failing to check "black marketing" of onions. The AAP hit back at Manoj Tiwari saying that he was jumping to "frivolous" statements.
"The Centre is giving onion to Delhi government at the rate of Rs 15.90 per kg so that people in the city do not face the pinch of soaring onion prices. However, the Delhi government has announced to sell onions at the rate Rs 23.90 per kg which means it is trying to earn profit from it," Manoj Tiwari claimed.
Earlier, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Friday that the Delhi government will sell onions at Rs 23.90 per kg in the city from tomorrow. He said in retail, onion is currently being sold at Rs 60-80 per kg.
Reacting to Manoj Tiwari's allegation, a Delhi government official said that the purchasing and selling prices of onion are fixed by the Centre and Delhi government has no say in deciding its retail price.
Manoj Tiwari claimed that the onion prices in the city have registered "300 per cent increase" in Delhi due to black marketing.
"The Delhi government has failed to check black marketing of onion while middlemen are fleecing the people," Manoj Tiwari alleged.
The AAP chief spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj said that Manoj Tiwari, as a Member of Parliament, is supposed to know the basic facts before issuing "frivolous" statements.
"The rates at which we will get onions and the rates at which subsidized onions are sold are decided by his own central government. We would be happy if he could help in reducing those rates further," Bhardwaj said in a statement.
Saurabh Bharadwaj took a dig at Manoj Tiwari inviting him to his constituency saying he will offer him cheaper onions as Diwali gift.
Its a deja vu moment for the BJP whose government in Delhi was dethroned in the aftermath of a sharp rise in the prices of onion in 1998. The party leaders are trying to corner the AAP on the onion crises in the hope to end their banishment from the power for the last 21 years.
The Assembly elections in Delhi are scheduled early next year, although AAP leaders have claimed that it could take place in December.
Rajya Sabha MP and former Delhi BJP president Vijay Goel also claimed the central government has not fixed any price for selling onion. It only said that it can not be sold beyond Rs 23.90 per kg and hence the AAP government can sell it at a lesser price, he said.
"Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been sleeping on the issue of the rising prices of onion in Delhi for the last one week," Vijay Goel alleged.
Vijay Goel recently met the Union Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister Ram Vilas Paswan over the soaring onion prices in Delhi.
Arvind Kejriwal has announced that onions will be sold at 400 ration shops and through 70 mobile vans in all the assembly constituencies in the national capital. Each person will be entitled to a maximum of five kg and the sale points will operate from 10 am to 5 pm.