Lucknow, Oct 17 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is to visit the Taj Mahal on October 26 — in a move to stem controversy over the marble monument after a BJP lawmaker called it a “blot” on Indian culture.
On Tuesday, the Chief Minister said the 17th century Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage site visited by thousands, is an important tourist draw and it was immaterial who built it and for what reason.
“It does not matter who built it and for what reason. It was built by the blood and sweat of Indian labourers,” he said.
His comments come after the unsavoury controversy kicked off by BJP legislator from Sardhana, Sangeet Som’s remarks calling the Taj Mahal a blot on Indian culture. Som attracted criticism for his remarks.
The Chief Minister said the monument of love was important for the Uttar Pradesh government, specially “from the tourism perspective” and “it is our priority to provide facilities and safety to tourists there”.
On October 26, the Chief Minister is also scheduled to visit the Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri and other important monuments in Agra, an official told IANS.
Earlier last month, the state government has omitted reference to the Taj Mahal in a booklet published on completion of six months of the Yogi Adityanath government. The move had drawn sharp criticism, prompting Tourism Minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi to remark that Taj Mahal was of great importance to the state government and to the nation.
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