Concerned over possible impact of rocketing onion prices on Congress' electoral fortune, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today said her government has taken a string of measures to contain the rates and the effect will be visible in the next couple of days.
Dikshit, who had come to power defeating the then BJP government in 1998 riding on high onion prices, said the government will start selling onions at Rs 55 a kg across the city from Monday by deploying 125 mobile vans and people will be able to buy upto 100 kgs.
The Election Commission yesterday had given its nod to Delhi government's request to distribute onions at cheaper rates.
"Onion prices will see a fall in the next 2-3 days. We have taken a number of measures to provide relief to the people from high onion prices," Dikshit said addressing a press conference along with her cabinet colleagues Harun Yusuf, Raj Kumar Chouhan and Arvinder Singh.
Dikshit said arrival of onion in the city from various onion-producing states has improved following her meeting with Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Food Minister K V Thomas on Thursday.
"We are doing everything possible to contain the rise in onion prices. Ours is a sensitive government and that is why we are concerned about hike in rates," Dikshit said.
Asked whether export of onion should be banned, Dikshit said if such a step helps easing the price situation, then Centre should consider it.
"I think Food Ministry is thinking of banning export of onions. I cannot say with certainty, but I guess it should be banned, if it helps stabilise the market," she said.
Onion is selling between Rs 80 to 100 per kg in most of the retail markets in the city.
On overall increase in prices of vegetable and fruits, Dikshit said the rates usually go up this time of the season and claimed that the prices will come down soon.
"We are moving from summer to winter vegetables. So there will be some alterations in prices of vegetables," she said.
Asked whether she was worried about possible impact of high onion prices in the election outcome, she rejected comparison between high onion prices in 1998 and now.
The BJP in 1998 assembly had lost power and its defeat is attributed to high onion prices.
Food and Supplies Minister Harun Yusuf said 1600 tonnes of onion arrived in Delhi today from various onion producing states.