Taj Mahal built by traitors, says BJP 'hate speaker'

Taj Mahal built by traitors, says BJP 'hate speaker'

In a move to stem controversy over the Taj Mahal, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday said the 17th century marble mausoleum is an important tourist draw and it was immaterial who built it and for what reason.

The BJP has, however, distanced itself from Som's remarks and Adityanath has also acknowledged the contributions of local labourers in the Taj Mahal's construction. He quipped: "Let theirs be the first blow (to demolish these monuments) and mine will be the second?."BJP MLA Sangeet Som had on Monday questioned the 17th century architectural marvel's place in India's heritage and said history would be "rewritten to erase Mughal emperors from it".?Referring to "kalank katha", or the black mark of history, he said, "..." Considered one of the wonders of the world, it attracts millions of Indian and foreign tourists every year. "The Taj Mahal can be a symbol of love but not of worship".

Earlier this month, Taj Mahal's absence in a new tourism brochure of Uttar Pradesh sparked outrage.

Other BJP leaders had supported Yogi as Minority Affairs Minister Chaudhary Laxmi Narayan Chaudhary defended government action saying that the Taj Mahal was not a symbol of any particular religion.

The chief minister announced that he would visit Agra next week to review tourism schemes and added that the Taj was a historical monument, irrespective of who had constructed it.

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On July 11, the Adityanath government did not mention the Taj Mahal in "Hamari Sanskritik Virasat" (Our Cultural Heritage), a part of the annual budget presented in the state assembly by the minister for finance Rajesh Agarwal. What type of history?

Following reports about the Taj Mahal being left out of the booklet, the state government had issued a press release stating, "Tourism projects worth Rs 370 crore are proposed, under which schemes worth Rs 156 crore for the development of parks and various facilities are meant for the Taj Mahal and its surrounding areas in Agra".

The MLA from Sardhana also termed Mughal emperors Babur, Akbar and Aurangzeb "traitors" and said their names would be removed from the pages of history.

Hyderabad House was built by Osman Ali Khan, the last Nizam, on a land offered by the British.

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