Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will visit the Taj Mahal on October 26 to participate in a Tourism event. Adityanath is expected to pitch for the promotion of the Taj Mahal, according to India Today. The chief minister’s visit assumes significance as BJP MLA Sangeet Som has courted a controversy questioning the Taj Mahal’s place in India’s heritage. During a visit to Meerut district, Som said the Taj Mahal was built by an emperor who had imprisoned his own father and had targeted many Hindus in his kingdom. Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal in memory of his wife Mumtaz; he was ousted and imprisoned by his son Aurangzeb later in life.
Responding to Sangeet Som’s comments, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi has asked if the government would tell tourists not to visit the monument. Owaisi, the Lok Sabha member from Hyderabad, tweeted, “Traitors also build Red Fort will Modi stop hoisting Tiranga? Can Modi and Yogi tell domestic and foreign tourist not to visit Taj Mahal?”
The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief also said Hyderabad House in Delhi, the venue for the Centre to host foreign dignitaries, was built by a “traitor”. “Even Hyderabad House in Delhi was built by “Traitor” will Modi stop hosting Foreign Dignitaries?” he asked, as per PTI.
Samajwadi Party leader and former UP minister Azam Khan has also jumped into the controversy. He said not just Taj Mahal, monuments like Red Fort, Qutub Minar, Parliament and Rashtrapati Bhavan are also signs of slavery and they should be demolished.
Speaking to Times Now, Khan said that “Why Just Taj Mahal? why not Rashtrapati Bhawan? why not Qutub Minar? why not Delhi’s Red Fort? why not Agra Fort?…they are all signs of slavery. They should be removed if they were built by those, whom the RSS people call as ‘traitors’. Let’s appeal to the emperor (Modi). I have already told the small emperor (UP CM Yogi Adityanath), let’s go together…(and demolish these structures). I think it is political impotency to take a step back after saying something.”