The Congress government in Delhi may have started selling onions across the city at cheaper rates but people in many areas alleged that the quality of the kitchen staple was "poor" and not fit for consumption. The cheaper onions, offered at Rs 50/kg, failed to attract residents in many areas who said the vegetable being sold through mobile vans "looked rotten".
Under attack from opposition parties over skyrocketing onion prices, Delhi government had on Monday started selling the item through 125 mobile vans at lower rates. The retail rate for onions continued to remain between Rs 70-90 at various markets across the city.
"Onions being sold by the government are of poor quality. They are not fit for consumption. That is why we are not buying them," said Manju Kalra, a resident of Kalkaji. Rekha Tandon, another homemaker in Malviya Nagar, said she bought 2kg onions from a government-deployed van of which around one kilogram was rotten.
"The onions being sold by the government are rotten. I will not buy them again," said Tandon.
Officials in the Food and Supplies department, however, denied selling rotten onions but said its quality may be not "very good" as some trucks which had carried the item to Delhi had come from states which were affected by heavy rain.
Residents in many other areas, including Janakpuri, Laxmi Nagar, Rithala, Nangloi and Mangolpuri, also complained about the quality of the onions being sold by the government.
With high onion prices threatening to become a hot issue ahead of the December 4 Assembly polls, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had taken a number of initiatives, including directly procuring the bulb from Maharashtra and Rajasthan, to stabilise prices.
Dikshit had come to power in 1998 after defeating the then BJP government by riding on high onion prices. Election Commission had on Friday given its nod to Delhi government's request to distribute onions at cheaper rates.