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Visa Denial to Christian Preacher Becomes Election Issue in Meghalaya

Paul Msiza, president of the Baptist World Alliance and the religious head of the Baptist World Community, was scheduled to attend an event to commemorate 150 years of the Garo Baptist Church in Meghalaya.

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Updated:February 9, 2018, 11:11 AM IST
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Visa Denial to Christian Preacher Becomes Election Issue in Meghalaya
Image for representation. (Reuters)
Shillong: The Congress is crying hoarse over the denial of visa to a Christian preacher by the Indian Consulate in South Africa. Ahead of the state assembly elections, the Grand Old Party has used the issue to attack the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led central government.

Paul Msiza, president of the Baptist World Alliance and the religious head of the Baptist World Community, was scheduled to attend an event to commemorate 150 years of the Garo Baptist Church in Meghalaya.

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".

In his statement, Pala also alleged that this wasn't a one-off case, rather was a trend.

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.

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| Edited by: Aditya Nair
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