The BJP’s Ashwini Choubey, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, has claimed that he is unaware of the onion crisis in the country because he is “a vegetarian and has never tasted an onion”. This comes a day after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made a statement in Parliament that she “comes from a family that does not consume much onion and garlic”. Sitharaman’s comment invited heavy trolling online and prompted the viral hashtag #SayItLikeNirmalaTai.

“I am a vegetarian. How will a person like me know about the shortage and price of onions?” Choubey told news agency ANI. He also defended Sitharaman, saying that the finance minister had detailed all the steps that the government is taking to mitigate the crisis and that her statement was misconstrued.