The Visa Denial to Christian Preacher Becomes Election Issue in Meghalaya and Congress party has to attack the BJP-led central government on this issue.
Ahead of the state assembly elections, the Congress Party has used the issue of rejecting the visa application of Baptist World Alliance chief, Reverend Paul Msiza, to attend the 150 years celebrations of Christianity in the state.
The Garo Baptist Convention is celebrating 150 years of Christianity at Rajasimla in East Garo Hills from February 8-11. The Baptist Church set foot in Garo Hills at Rajasimla in 1867.
Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma hit out at BJP led Central government for denial of visa to a Christian preacher by the Indian Consulate in South Africa.
“In the past, many religious leaders be it Pope (John Paul II) or Dalai Lama or Sri Sri Ravi Shankar have visited Meghalaya without any objection. We have never opposed to any of their visit since we have no hidden agenda,” Sangma said, adding the step only demonstrates the hidden agenda of the BJP government against the Christians and other religious communities.
Vincent Pala, Shillong MP and working president of the Congress party in the state, issued a statement on the visa denial, alleging that the incident “exposes the mindset of the present dispensation”. He further goes on to state that “the people of Meghalaya do not need leaders of the saffron brigade to dictate terms of their headquarters in Nagpur in pursuit of their Hindutva agenda”.
Meanwhile, Union minister KJ Alphons, who is BJP’s poll in-charge in the state has said that Msiza’s visa application has been reopened and that the issue shouldn’t be communalised.
BJP has fielded 47 candidates for the 60-seat Assembly. The state goes to the polls on February 27 and the results will be declared on March 3.