Mawkhar Presbyterian ChurchSHILLONG, Jan 20: Two major churches in Meghalaya have decided not to avail of a Rs 70-crore package announced by Centre for development of places of worship in the State. The Catholic Church and Mawkhar Presbyterian Church have said they would give a miss to the package announced by Union Tourism Minister KJ Alphons on January 8. Parish Pastoral Council of Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians (Catholic Church), in a statement issued yesterday, said it has not applied for any financial aid from Centre.

“We have not applied for any financial assistance from the government for face-lifting of the Cathedral. The ongoing face-lifting is being carried out solely through the generous contributions of the faithful,” it said. Barnabas Nongbah, the council’s secretary, said the announcement of such a package ahead of elections in the State is not welcome, as it could indirectly bring the church in electoral politics. “There was no communication made between the Ministry and the church before and after the announcement by Tourism Minister KJ Alphons, and that the consultants had not officially visited the premises till date,” Nongbah said. 

Meghalaya is set to go to polls on February 27. Mawkhar Presbyterian Church has made it clear they are not a party to the decision taken by the government, and do not wish to avail the package. Union Tourism Minister had announced the package for development of places of worship across the State, under the ‘Swadesh Darshan’ scheme of the Ministry. A total of 48 places of worship have been included under the scheme. – PTI

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