Difficult to conclude, one way or the other. We took data on monthly retail prices for Delhi for the period between 2008 and 2017, and charted it. On this, we overlaid dates of state elections. In the visualisation below, the orange bars represent months when state elections were held, while the blue bars represent months that did not see elections.
Of the 17 election blocks here, there are two blocks where onion prices do surge unusually in the lead up—in November 2013 and November 2015. But otherwise, they don’t. They move in a narrower band most of the time, rising occasionally in months that are draw away election ones.
What do you think? Is there any other factor at play here?
Data sources: National Horticulture Board (onion prices), Election Commission of India (election dates)