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Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong has hit back at former Nongkrem legislator Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit for comparing the National People's Party (NPP)-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre.
“This remark made by Basaiawmoit is unacceptable. The MDA government has its own policies. We are all out for the minorities and the Christians,” Tynsong told reporters here on December 22.
The former Nongkrem legislator, Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit has questioned the Meghalaya government for putting a blanket prohibition on organising Christmas carols.
Basaiawmoit had lambasted the MDA government for adopting a double yardstick and, said that while on one hand, it allowed other religions to organise their religious festivals by strictly following the protocols, on the other, it puts a blanket ban on holding Christmas carols.
“I am of the strong view that the government should have allowed organising of Christmas carols since the churches can ensure that SOPs issued by the Health department are strictly followed,” the former Nongkrem legislator had stated.
Reacting to the remarks made by Basaiawmoit, Tynsong said, “This is not right. Let him talk responsibly. I never expected that he would talk in such a manner. It is wrong to compare us with the BJP-led NDA Government.”
Furthermore, the Deputy CM clarified that the state government will allow churches to organise Christmas carols provided they get permission from the respective Deputy Commissioners.
“The concerned churches are allowed if they have specific programmes for Christmas celebration, but provided that permission is being obtained from the respective Deputy Commissioners to ensure SOPs are strictly followed,” Tynsong added.
Tynsong, however, reiterated that Christmas carols taken out by individuals without the consent of the respective churches will not be allowed.
According to him, the state government does not want to take any chances in view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“Therefore, we have taken this decision after foreseeing the danger; so we don’t want to take any chances (to prevent any surge in cases),” Tynsong said.
The Deputy Chief Minister also informed that organising community feasts during the festive season will not be allowed.
(Edited by Laxmi Chyrmang)