Allahabad. UP Chief Minister, Mayawati appeared at a BSP rally here yesterday wearing the replacement for her controversial garland made of Rs.1000 notes. As market prices escalated to record levels, the BSP leader donned a new garland made of onions.
Food price inflation means that Rs.1000 notes are no longer as valuable, explained party spokesman, Rajendra Kumar. “People are just not as awestruck by big notes now,” he said, “they’re far more impressed by more contemporary displays of wealth, such as the appearing with more than one onion or tomato at a time.”
The garland, consisting of 1000 halved onions, successfully boosted Mayawati’s public image. So powerful was its impact that many in the front row seats at the rally wore their own smaller onion garlands in tribute. Many broke down in tears for the duration of the speech.
The garland itself weighed 20kg and had to be supported by two bodyguards, one of whom told Faking News he was just grateful that the price of kaddu (pumpkin) had stayed low. He also said that a third bodyguard had become fed up of supporting the garland and suggested that a “24 carrot” necklace would be a good alternative. He was sacked immediately and is being sought by police for insubordination.
With the price of onions rising daily, commentators have asked if the vegetables for the garland came from the public distribution system. However, UP officials stated that the state’s PDS has not had any onions since 1992 and that it hoped to receive the garland once the CM had finished with it. Convinced that not even the UP government could afford so many onions, Faking News began an investigation.
After putting the “word out on the street” that a new guy in town might be interested in buying some onions for “ceremonial purposes”, a “dealer” agreed to meet Faking News in an alleyway in Lucknow. “You want your investment to last,” said Ahmed, 24, revealing a string of onions underneath his coat, “you want to look wealthy, perhaps even a little richer than you really are, you need quality onions which will last.”
He led our correspondent to a dimly lit workshop deep in the old city. “This is my supplier,” he said, gesturing to 78-year old Prasad, squatting over a table in the corner, paintbrush in hand. To the old man’s left was a bag of golf balls; to his right a bag of finished “onions”.
“They will never rot, my friend,” explained Ahmed, “no flies, no mold, no bad breath, no problem, but no chutney either. We have some very distinguished customers indeed.” Prasad will soon expand his business to carving statues, figurines and jewelry “for those who can’t afford the real thing”.
Following the obligatory purchase of a 100 onion “mini Mayawati special” garland, “the number one present for any overly competitive UP housewife”, Faking News left the building Rs.200 lighter.
This is the first time a high profile politician has worn vegetables in public. However, after being inspired by Lady Gaga’s “meat outfit”, one Calcutta dog catcher has tripled his catch rate; and for years, both vegetologists and anatomists have claimed that Lalu Prasad’s head is a member of the potato family. But, it must be pointed out that the Potato Growers of India reject this entirely.