Former Rajya Sabha MP Ali Anwar today accused the BJP government in Rajasthan of closing down several salt mines in Barmer to prepare the ground to host Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposed rally on January 16. He also presented some “affected” villagers before reporters and claimed that over 200 salt mines would be closed to make way for a refinery, the foundation stone of which would be laid by Modi on that day. The former JD(U) MP claimed that then Congress chief Sonia Gandhi had laid the foundation stone for the same project four years back and added that Modi was doing it again on account of the upcoming bypolls to two Lok Sabha seats in the state. “Hundreds of villagers will lose their livelihood if these mines are closed. The government must rehabilitate them. Better still, these mines should not be closed down,” he said.
Bypolls are scheduled to be held to the Alwar and Ajmer Lok Sabha seats of Rajasthan on January 29. The results will be declared on February 1.