Amid soaring tomato prices, Uttar Pradesh minister Pratibha Shukla’s statement is going viral on social media as the minister advised people to not eat tomatoes.
In the viral video posted on Twitter Shukla can be heard saying, “If you will stop eating tomatoes, the prices will come automatically come down. People should start growing tomatoes at home, you can also eat lemons instead of tomatoes. If nobody is eating tomatoes, the prices will come down."
Watch the video here:
Tomato prices continue to rise
Shukla's statement comes at a time when tomato prices continue to rise across the country with one kg still above ₹120.
The statement made by the UP minister received criticism from the Congress. They interpreted it as the government accepting that they can't do anything to reduce the prices. Congress leader Supriya Shrinate said, "When something becomes expensive, they are advising people to stop eating it. This advice is coming from a minister of Uttar Pradesh. It seems like they have given up on finding real solutions."
Ashwini Kumar Choubey, the minister of state of consumers affairs, informed the Rajya Sabha that tomato prices might decrease soon with the arrival of new crops from Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
This situation with tomato prices reminded people of a past incident with onion prices, where Nirmala Sitharaman faced criticism for her comments about onions. Opposition leaders questioned whether she also avoids eating tomatoes now due to the high prices.
As tomato prices went up, there were unfortunate incidents of theft and robbery across the country. In Bengaluru, a Tamil Nadu couple was arrested for hijacking a truck loaded with 2.5 tonnes of tomatoes. In Pune, a farmer reported that 400 kg of his tomatoes were stolen.