Mamata Banerjee Blames Centre for Soaring Vegetable Prices, Demands Immediate Action

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has voiced strong dissatisfaction with the escalating prices of vegetables, placing the blame squarely on the Modi government at the Centre. She alleged that the government has completely failed to control the rising costs.

In a meeting held on Tuesday with state ministers and officials, Banerjee issued an ultimatum to reduce vegetable prices within 10 days. She claimed that a section of individuals is hoarding vegetables in freezers to maximise profits, causing the general public to suffer. The Chief Minister has called for strict action against those responsible for this practice.

During the meeting, Banerjee highlighted the disparity between the prices received by farmers and the prices in the market. “Potato farmers do not get more than Rs 15 per kg, but in the market, it is being sold for 35 to 40 taka,” she stated, directing the police to raid markets. Additionally, the State Task Force on inflation has been instructed to monitor vegetable prices closely and take immediate action.

Banerjee pointed out that the prices of staple vegetables like potatoes, onions, garlic, brinjals, bottle gourds, and cucumbers have risen more sharply than last year. “Monsoon has arrived, but vegetable prices are still skyrocketing. People are scared to go to the market. We are very concerned about the situation,” she remarked.

The Chief Minister revealed that West Bengal still has 30 lakh metric tonnes of potatoes stored in cold storage out of a total capacity of 45 lakh metric tonnes. She questioned why such a large quantity of potatoes remains in storage while market prices continue to soar.

Drawing an analogy, Banerjee said, “If chickens fall sick, they are killed. Then the price of goats increases. It all works in large circles. Not visible to the eye.” She instructed officials to release the stored potatoes gradually into the market to help stabilise prices.

The Chief Minister’s strong stance and immediate directives reflect the urgency and severity of the issue, as the state grapples with soaring vegetable prices amid the monsoon season.

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