India’s finance minister has been lambasted for telling MPs that she doesn’t eat many onions, during a discussion about the vegetable’s rising cost. But many point out that her comments may be less scandalous than first reported.
Nirmala Sitharaman told India’s lower house of parliament that the government was taking measures to address the skyrocketing cost of onions, which are currently selling at more than 100 rupees ($1.40) per kilogram in many states.
Unfortunately for the finance minister, her words of reassurance ended up sparking an avalanche of internet outrage after she was heard commenting on her own eating habits.
“I don’t eat much of onion and garlic. I come from such a family which doesn’t have much to do with onion,” she said while responding to a question from a lawmaker.
Her quip was lambasted by Twitter users as insensitive and elitist.
However, local media also pointed out that she was simply responding to a question from a lawmaker who asked her directly if she eats onions. Sitharaman’s office tweeted a video showing the full context of her comment.
“Someone asked if she eats onions, she said I don’t. What else should she have said?” one Twitter user noted.