High prices of onions had an echo in Rajya Sabha on Monday, with the Opposition demanding a short duration discussion on the issue that was hitting the common man hard.

Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Balbir Punj (BJP) said, “In this government, files are going missing, onions are going missing from the market. The price of onions is more than petrol, milk or even beer.”

He said onion production of 16.6 MT this year was only 5 per cent less than that of last year, but prices had gone up 500 per cent.

Mr. Punj said, “There is a Nasik cartel that has created this shortage. The Agriculture Minister has a deep association with Nasik and Maharashtra. The shortage of onion is not because of natural reasons but because of man-made reasons,” he said, adding, “I want to warn this government, you have brought tears in the eyes of the poor.”

Associating himself with the issue, K.N.Balagopal (CPI-M) demanded a short duration discussion on the issue, a demand which was supported by many members from BJP, BSP and CPI-M.

He also sought a ban on forward trading on wheat, rice and onions.

K.C.Tyagi (JD-U) said earlier onions brought tears in the eyes of housewife while cutting the vegetable, but now she sheds tears while buying the item.

Responding to the demand for a discussion on high onion prices, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Rajeev Shukla said, “This matter has been raised by Prasanta Chatterjee. The Chairman has already given approval for holding a short duration discussion on price rise and onions.”