Nagaland elections: BJP offers Christians free Jerusalem trip if voted to power

BJP offers to send Christians on Jerusalem trip, if elected to power in Nagaland

After stopping Haj subsidy, BJP offers to send Christians to Jerusalem — for free!

The BJP's offer comes in the run-up to elections in three northeastern states - Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura - later this month.

Nagaland is one of India's smallest states, with just under two million people, of whom 88% are Christian.

It is however unclear weather BJP's offer is for all the Christians of the country or just the North East.

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To counter fears of an "Hindutva invasion" among voters in Nagaland, the BJP has made an election promise to send Christians to Jerusalem on a free trip, if elected to power. Later, UNI news agency reported that the free Jerusalem trip has only been offered to Christians in Nagaland.

The BJP's offer, some said, smacked of hypocrisy and opportunism, especially considering the cancellation of Haj subsidies.

He tweeted, "BJP promise to send Christians on a free trip". I was right, BJP continues with subsidy if it suits its electoral needs. Earlier, while announcing the Haj subsidy, Union minority affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi stated that the Centre believes in empowering the minority community with dignity and not appeasement. The BJP had said that the money would be used in the education of the girls.

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AIMIM MP Owaisi said he had always been in favour of ending the haj subsidy but sought parity in norms for pilgrims of all religions.

The local affiliate of the Congress Party, not to be outdone, is also offering a trip, but - in an apparent effort to show fiscal responsibility - their trip will not be completely free, albeit highly subsidized.

The development comes after the union government chose to withdraw the subsidy provided to Haj pilgrims.

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This would not be the first time that countries have bankrolled pilgrimages to Jerusalem.

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