Mamata & Congress Conspire to Escalate Onion Price in India: Fact Check


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Image about Mamata & Congress Conspire to Escalate Onion Prices
Mamata & Congress Conspire to Escalate Onion Prices

Story:

Mamata Banerjee govt and Congress Conspire – Deliberately stranding tons of Onion loads to escalate onion prices in the country.

Other Versions

(Hindi)

ममता सरकार और कांग्रेस पार्टी की मिलीभगत से प्याज का स्टॉक सड़ रहा है। ट्रांसपोर्टरों की कोई सुनवाई नहीं है। *मोदी सरकार को किसी तरह बदनाम किया जाए ताकि प्याज की सप्लाय रुक जाए और महंगाई बढ़ती रहे। सुनिए

Fact Check:

A video is doing rounds widely online with various messages suggesting Mamata Banerjee & Congress Conspire to Escalate Onion Prices in India. The video shows loads of onion stranded in many trucks and accompanying audio warns and explains the rotten consignment is at West Bengal border. The video is real, but the accompanying messages are not true and explained here.

About the Video of Stranded Onion Trucks

The video in question is doing rounds online in different Indian languages with similar allegations of conspiracy behind price rise of Onions. A man speaking in audio warns onion traders not to take onions from the consignment stranded at Ghojadanga border of West Bengal. He says the loads of onion in at least 200 trucks are lying there from 25th September to 5th of October. No party is coming to buy the truck loads of Onion and no transport people are picking up calls, he adds. Further, he says the bottom loads of onion in all trucks have rotten and suggests truck people never to load onions from the place.

Reasons for Onion Price Increase

The price of onions in India has shot up because of heavy rains and flooding in extensive parts of India. They also damaged significant amount of onion stocks in storage and delayed the next round of produce.

Image of Onion prices sky rocket in India due to shortage in supply
Onion prices sky rocket in India due to shortage in supply

In a comment about the matter, a journalist Dipti Raut says the shortage of onions – and subsequent rise in prices – happens almost every year. She also said it’s a vicious cycle, where traders often lobby and middlemen benefit from even the slightest price fluctuations. On the other hand, onion is India’s most “political” vegetable.

Mamata Banerjee & Congress Conspire to Escalate Onion Prices?

In early October 2019, a woman from Aam Aadmi Party shared the same video on Facebook claiming 200 truckloads of onions is left to rot purposefully to black market them and increase price.

Despite the claims, we did not find credible reports of the said conspiracy to escalate onion prices. Like the audio suggests, the old video is from October 2019 not when Onion prices sky rocketed. To find facts about the stranded trucks of onion, we checked the news reports between September and October months of 2019. The video actually shows a total of 225 trucks from Nashik carrying 6,750 tonnes of onions stranded at the border due to a ban on exports.

Export Consignment to Bangladesh

Due to rising prices of onions, India banned export of onions on 29th September 2019 to compensate for shortage of supply in the domestic market. The trucks stranded at Mahadipur and Ghojadanga border areas in West Bengal, Nashik were in fact carrying export load of Onions to Bangladesh. They started before the ban on export and had to hold back for some days at border area. Consequently, onion traders met Dindori MP Bharti Pawar, who escalated the matter to Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal. The trucks were eventually allowed to enter Bangladesh on 4th October 2019. Dhaka Tribune website dhakatribune.com also reported the incident saying a consignment of around 1,500 tons of onion loaded in 60 trucks has started entering Bangladesh from India.

So, the video does not suggest Mamata Banerjee & Congress conspire to escalate Onion prices in India. Perhaps, the person speaking in the video is unaware of the export ban scenario and expressing concern over the ‘rotten lot’ of onions.

Hoax or Fact:

Hoax.


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Prashanth Damarla
Debunker

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