Just a few months after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) cancelled the subsidised Haj pilgrimages for all the Muslims, the party now seems to be shifting its focus to three north-eastern states – Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura, where the elections are scheduled to take place later this month. If reports are to be believed, BJP has said that it will be giving out free trips to Christians so they can visit Jerusalem if they come to power in Nagaland. However, it still remained unclear if the offer was limited only to Christians living in the state or across the country.
The following offer by the BJP was sounded just a few days before the three north-eastern are scheduled for election. Nagaland’s 88% population consist of Christians. The Jerusalem offer by the BJP was highlighted after an outlet news agency shared a post stating, “The BJP has made an election promise to send Christians to Jerusalem on a free trip, if elected to power in Nagaland”. Soon after the post was shared, the locals of Nagaland criticised the offer by the BJP and further termed it as an appeasement politics. The people further termed the party to be opportunistic. Later, UNI news agency reported that the free Jerusalem trip has only been offered to Christians in Nagaland.
Meanwhile, firing cannons at the BJP over their offer, AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi said that BJP will continue with the subsidy of its political gains. He tweeted, “BJP promise to send Christians on a free trip. I was right, BJP continues with subsidy if it suits its electoral needs. This is (what BJP means by) ‘India first'”. 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.