Sushma Swaraj & Sheila Dikshit: Ban Assembly Elections in Delhi (India) b/w September – December


“Desh mera rangrez re babu, ghaat ghaat yahan ghata jadu”, Trust you have heard this song earlier. Well! If not just click & enjoy. Trust will help in context setting.

But the post is not about this song. Post is actually about why S Sq (That’s Shiela & Sushma) + Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, all three chief ministers of Indian States don’t want any election in  India b/w September to December. Understandable, only if one can appreciate the ordeal/trauma that all three have gone through.

& well some would say Election Commission should alter its time table, considering that there seems to be some merit in S Square’s (Shushma & Sheila) + BSS’s argument. The first “S” lost her right to chief minister’s office in 1998 owing to Onion Price rise & obviously onion price rise was a major factor in second “S’s” loss as well. BSS lost his seat in 1998 again owing to Onion price rise. Besides Onion what’s common in all three cases is that all contested their respective assembly elections b/w Sep – Dec.

Now let’s discuss the merit in the argument, “No elections b/w September to December”. For those who are not aware India happens to be the second largest producer of Onion with approx. 26% of world’s produce from Indian farmland (www. Indians need Onions as part of daily food.

Onion crop has a discrete seasonal (i.e. inter year variation) pattern which follows remarkable regularity, i.e every January, September & October produce dips to lowest & every November, March , June produce is at its highest. Another interesting point is that every fourth year produce is the lowest in a five year period. To make matter worse the lean season also happen to be coincided with start of major festivals and ceremonies like marriages, Dasera, Dipawali, Eid, Chrismas.

So here’s a quick linkage: Delhi assembly elections held around October in 1998; was the 4th year of the 5 year cycle that we talked about & to make matter worse month was October. Lowest produce month in the lowest produce year coinciding with highest consumption period primarily on account of festivities resulting in steep price rise. Late 2013 early 2014 assembly elections were no different; Same trend. Media created a “ho-hallah”, arguably that’s what they do best, and opposition used the opportunity and rest we all know.

PS: not to mention Onion robbery:  December 23 of 2010 in The Times of India, a leading Indian newspaper daily ran an article titled “The Great Indian Onion Robbery”. The starting paragraph of the article stated speculative traders are making super-profits by fixing prices in the onion trade while the government is playing around with ad hoc fixes. But that’s for some other time.

So there is merit in the argument “No elections b/w September to December”