Union Tourism Minister KJ Alphons on Friday rubbished the contention of Congress president Rahul Gandhi that the BJP was trying to buy the churches in poll-bound Meghalaya.
Responding to Gandhi's recent speech, attacking the BJP government for offering money to churches ahead of the polls as "their entire idea is always to divide, to oppress and to be nasty. They think that they can come here and they can buy the church, the religion and God", Alphons, a Christian himself, questioned the Congress what has it done for the Christians in Meghalaya while they were in power in the past 70 years at the centre and 40 years in Meghalaya.
"Rahul Gandhi had accused the Central government of trying to buy the churches. In Meghalaya, this is because the Central government had sanctioned Rs 70 crore to develop religious and spiritual circuits in the state," he said.
"Now, if the government is doing something for a community, you are saying that were are trying to bribe the churches now.
"Does he (Gandhi) think the church is purchasable. He thinks it available to be purchased with money. It's a complete shame. Its very shameful that president of a national party is insulting the church in Meghalaya," said Alphons, who is also the party in-charge for the state polls.
Noting that the BJP is determined to ensure development in Meghalaya, he said: "... It is not we have come up because of election, this is a scheme which have been for the long time under which people was given nothing."
Clearing the stand of BJP and PM Narendra Modi about Christianity, he quoted Modi as saying that his government will ensure that there is complete freedom of faith.