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The price of onions has become a major headache for Indian government, already battling a corruption scandal.
The price of onions has been known to cause heads to roll and governments to fall in India, where this humble vegetable is part of the staple diet of the poor.
That's why — amid across the board inflation — India is pulling out all the stops to lower onion prices, which have skyrocketed due to unseasonal rains and hoarding by middlemen.
The price of onions has risen to 85 rupees ($1.87) per kilogram from 35 rupees only last week, and the government has banned its export.
Making matters worse, the prices of all vegetables are shooting up — hitting a six-week high this week — deepening the Reserve Bank of India's fears about inflation.
An index measuring wholesale prices of agricultural products including lentils, rice and vegetables rose 12.13 percent in the week ended Dec. 11 from a year earlier, according to a trade ministry report.
Opposition parties have criticized the government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh — already beset with electoral worry over acorruption scandal — for failing to check rising prices.
Inflation has triggered labor strikes and public protests, and the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party was defeated in local elections in 1998 after a surge in onion prices.