Onion jokes may now be clichéd but the ruling BJP appeared to have played a crude one on Chhattisgarh when party workers weighed chief minister Raman Singh with the precious commodity during a public meeting in Raigarh.
There was no surprise that the pile of onions “outweighed” the chief minister on the scales given the fact the prices of the commodity have skyrocketed across the country and the people of the state too have been feeling the pinch.
The BJP described the gimmick as a ploy to highlight the plight of the common people due to the rising prices of onions and the precious ‘red spheres’ - weighing over 100 kgs - were distributed among the crowd who had gathered for the occasion at the Ramlila Maidan in Raigarh.
Chattisgarh is among five states going to the Assembly polls later this year and the ruling BJP – making a bid to capture power in the Centre – thought it fit to highlight the onion price issue in a pompous public display.
Raman Singh is trying to score a hattrick of wins in the Assembly elections.
“We would have weighed our chief minister in ladoos, dry fruits or currency but to highlight the plight of common man we opted for onions,” Gyaneshwar Gautam, Raigarh district BJP leader told Hindustan Times. Party cadres contributed to purchasing the onions.
Addresing the rally – part of his vikas yatra - the chief minister trained his guns on the UPA government for turning onions dearer and blamed the “weak” economic policy of the Centre for rising inflation.
“Pyaz ke keemat ladoo-pede se bhi zyada ho gayi hai (the price of onion is now more than the sweets). The essential onion is now missing in the meal of common man,” he thundered.
All through the series of public meetings at Raigarh, Singh maintained that he was aware how ordinary citizens are getting increasingly worried over the rising prices of onions.
However, not all were impressed by the BJP’s show.
The Congress questioned Raman Singh what his government has done to check the prices of onions and opined that the BJP was just trying to draw political mileage out of the issue.
Many in the state would, perhaps, agree to this view.