A massive shortage of onions in the market, coupled with the onion and garlic traders' strike in Delhi, has caused prices to skyrocket in the capital. The traders went on strike in on Tuesday, after conducting the day's sales, in protest against the income tax raids that were carried out at Azadpur Mandi and other mandis on Monday.
The strike continued today even as the arrivals, at a little more than 550 tonnes on Tuesday, were considerably less than earlier. Monday had seen the arrival of 1,300 tonnes of onions.
The traders are angry at government calling them 'hoarders' and directing I-T raids against them. "The government is defaming us by calling us hoarders. They are trying to ruin our image," said a trader.
"For now, we are going on strike tomorrow (Wednesday). There will be a meeting on Wednesday wherein we will decide whether or not to continue the strike," said Rajender Sharma, general secretary of the Tomato and Onion Merchants Association, on Tuesday.
The Delhi government was cautious on the issue of the strike. Food and supplies minister Haroon Yusuf said, "Right now, there is no proposal to invoke Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) against the traders. We will look into the traders' problems."
Traders and retailers fear retail prices in the capital are likely to shoot up because of the strike and the lesser arrivals.