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By Our Correspondent, TNT News | SHILLONG, Jan 24, 2018: 

As the poll battle continues continues in Meghalaya with allegations and counter allegations being leveled against each other, political parties in the state are trying everything to destroy the image of their rivals and attract voters.

While the BJP, NPP and other regional parties are trying to project the Congress as an ‘anti-people’ and ‘anti-development’ party, the Congress on the other hand is also adopting the same strategy and projecting the BJP as ‘anti-minority’ and a force designed to weaken the federal structure of the nation.

Meghalaya Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma on Wednesday alleged that the announcement of the Rs 70 crore religious tourism development projects by the Union Tourism Minister is yet another attempt towards destroying the country by weakening its federal structure.

The chief minister said this while reacting to the Rs 70 crore schemes announced by the Union Tourism Minister, KJ ahead of the Assembly elections in Meghalaya, to develop religious and spiritual circuits in the state which two major churches have already refused to accept.

Pointing out that there are specific guidelines laid for all centrally sponsored scheme to be announced and implemented, Mukul questioned whether the BJP have changed the guidelines breaching the federal structure of the country.

He alleged that nowhere in the history of the country that this type of attitude from the centre was seen where the central government is trying to reach out to the stakeholders directly without taking the state government on board.

“This particular strategy of the BJP gives proof beyond doubt about the evil intention of the BJP to dilute and weaken the federal structure of the country,” Mukul said.

Meanwhile, AICC General Secretary, CP Joshi stated that it is surprising how the government of India announced the project without the recommendation of the state government. Stating that Meghalaya is one of the tourist hotspots for ages now, Joshi questioned as to where was the BJP all of these years. He alleged that it is just an attempt by the BJP to woo voters.

It may be mentioned that the ministry has sanctioned Rs 61,38 crore for illumination, landscaping, construction of parking lots and others in 37 Christian churches, and Rs 8.61 crore for similar projects for 11 other religious groups including the indigenous religions of the Khasi Jaiñtia tribals in Meghalaya.

And while the congress terms it as just another political ploy of the BJP to woo voters, the BJP has maintained that there were no takers or imitative from the state government to avail the project as the state government failed  to send its representatives to an official meeting on January 5 in New Delhi convened in this regards.

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