The Indian government is cracking down on hoarders to stop the price of onion from rising as the issue has become an important topic for the upcoming local elections in some states, local media reports said Wednesday.

Onion, which is as important as salt for Indian household kitchen and dinner table, broke the ceiling of 100 rupees (1.7 US dollars) per kg this week in Delhi and some other Indian cities, causing panic in the government.

Food minister K. V. Thomas has rushed to the western state of Maharashtra which produces 28 percent of the total onion production, calling for cracking down on hoarders. Commerce minister Anand Sharma also blamed hoarders for the spike in onion prices.

Opposition parties have blamed the Congress-led government for failing the control the price of onion which they could hurt the poor.

Five Indian sates are going to hold local legislative polls next month and December, which is seen as a forerun for the general election next May.