Onions have in the past been known to bring down governments. And these days the galloping prices of onions and garlic are giving the ruling Congress in Uttarakhand jitters ahead of the assembly polls.
Onion prices at Rs 30 a kg and garlic at Rs 120 a kg are throwing household budgets haywire all across Uttarakhand. And sensing the mood, Congress MLA from Bageshwar, Ram Prasad Tamta is promising 'lehsun' (garlic) and not 'bhashan' (lecture) to his voters these days.
Sensing political opportunity, the Bharatiya Janata Party which was voted out in some states on the issue of rising onion prices less than a decade back, is highlighting it for all its worth in party rallies across the state.
"People are fed up with inflation during Congress rule and want change. Sonia's letters to the Prime Minister on the issue are nothing but an attempt at fooling the common man," says BJP president Rajnath Singh.
The party has placed advertisements in local newspapers comparing the prices of essential items like flour, sugar, onion and petrol during the NDA rule and the present UPA government.
And lest the voter forget, vans, painted with the inflation graph and comparative prices, go around Uttarakhand and video compact discs show the Congress’s inability to control the price rise.
“Inflation is affects voters most and we think it could be a deciding factor in this election," says former union minister and in-charge of BJP campaign committee Bhuwan Chand Khanduri.
Based on the reactions of voters in Garhwal and Kumaon since November last year, he feels there is tremendous resentment against the ruling government. "The Congress has done nothing for the common man in the past five years. We are confident their resentment would give us around 40 seats in the 70-member assembly," said Khanduri. mber assembly," said Khanduri.