Bhubaneswar: The Congress today resorted to a novel way to register its protest against the rising price of onions in the Odisha capital.
The grand old party’s Bhubaneswar district unit sold onions to the public at Rs 40 a kg in the Master Canteen square area here when onions were selling between Rs 80-100 a kg in the Capital city’s markets.
A huge crowd gathered to get the onions at half the price.
Each buyer was allowed to take half a kg of onions. Sources said that the party has sold nearly two quintals of onion to buyers at Rs 40 a kg.
“We are a political party and wish to tell the people about the situation in the country. This is a programme in that regard. This was an exercise by us to sensitize the general public against the unprecedented spiraling of prices,” said Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee president Niranjan Patnaik.
“We have been hard hit by the rising prices. Yesterday I had bought onions at Rs 80 a kg. I thank the Congress Committee for selling good quality onions at Rs 40 a kg. Hundreds of poor people have gathered to get onions,” said a customer Prabodha Kumar Mohapatra.
“This is a good initiative. I have bought half a kg of onions for Rs 20,” said Pratap Kumar Bhatta.
On the other hand, Ranendra Pratap Swain said that Congress’s Rs 4o-a-kilo onion may be unique but haven’t given a permanent solution.
“They have protested in a unique manner but they haven’t come up with a permanent solution. We have given a permanent solution. You all know that currently onions have crossed Rs 100 a kilo across the country but we are selling onions at varying rates between Rs 52-55-75 a kilo in 291 fair price shops in 30 districts across the State to stabilize the price,” said Swain speaking to reporters.
He said price of onions will most likely stabilize with the harvesting of new crop by the last week of this month and the first week of January.
He added that talks are on between Central and State government officials via video conferencing to find a solution to the problem.
The Minister said that certain things like weather etc. are beyond the control of human beings and blamed the rains in the onion growing States for the unprecedented rise in price of the kitchen essential.