Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday hit out at the opposition after being branded as “elitist” following her comment that she “does not eat much onions”, while speaking about price hike in Lok Sabha.
Sitharaman also slammed Congress leader P Chidambaram over his “Does she eat avocados” remark while reacting on her statement on onions.
Chidambaram, who was present in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday, took a jibe at Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s statement that she doesn’t hail from an “onion-eating” family during a debate on onion prices in the Lower House on Wednesday.
“What does the finance minister mean when she says she does not eat onions? Does she eat avocados?” he asked.
The opposition had also accused Sitharaman of being ”elitist” and unsympathetic towards people facing a spike in onion prices in recent months.
In response, the Finance Minister said that her statement has been taken out of context and took on Chidambaram for his remarks.
“What was the statement given by the people who accuse me of being elitist when I am talking about onions being sent from (different states) and the government’s effort. What was the statement given sir, then in 2012, when the price rise was high?” Nirmala Sitharaman asked.
Further, without naming Chidambaram, who was Finance Minister at the time, she said, “I would like to recall the statements of one of the former finance ministers that when price rise was the issue then, and this I am referring to 2012 when price was on the rise, food inflation was touching the sky and India was among the fragile five economies of the world. I am quoting sir — ‘when the urban middle class can buy a bottle of mineral water for Rs 15 and ice cream for Rs 20, why do they make such a noise about price rise’. And these are the people accusing me of being elitist and government of being elitist. I absolutely condemn this approach”.