Amid the controversy that revolved around Taj Mahal being taken off a state government tourism brochure, the structure has now become a part of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath government’s big investment plan early next year. The Government of Uttar Pradesh is organising Uttar Pradesh Investors Summit (UPIS) on 21st – 22nd February 2018 in Lucknow city. The two-day event aims to showcase investment opportunities and potential in the various sectors of Uttar Pradesh including tourism, IT & startup, aviation etc. The government has released a brochure for UP Investors’ Summit 2018, that has shown the Taj Mahal as one of the key reasons to invest here.
The government has shown 7th-century monument in Agra and its connectivity to the rest of the state through expressways — Agra to Lucknow expressway and Yamuna Expressway. Here is how two are described — “Agra to Lucknow Expressway: 302 km connecting the state capital to the most popular tourist destination of UP,” Then, “Yamuna Expressway: 165 km national capital to the most popular tourist destination of UP”.
Besides, the UP government has also placed a huge photograph of the Taj Mahal and mentioned The Taj multiple times in the 22-page brochure. It has associated the tourism sector with the monument and has mentioned the statistics of Indian Tourism 2016-17, according to which Uttar Pradesh stood at the second position under the section of domestic tourist visitor after Karnataka. As far as foreign tourists are concerned, UP grabbed the third position with a total of 31.56 lakh visitors in 2016-17.
UPIS 2018 will offer a global platform, which will bring together heads of states and governments, ministers, leaders from the corporate world, senior policymakers, heads of international institutions and academia from around the world to further the cause of economic development in the state and promote cooperation.
Earlier, the party’s leaders and ministers had made controversial statements, including a UP tourism booklet that omitted to mention the Taj Mahal in its list of development projects in the state. Further, BJP MLA Sangeet Som had questioned Taj Mahal’s place in history and vowed to erase the “blot” of Mughal kings from history books. However, Adityanath had reiterated his previous remarks that the monument was built “by the blood and sweat” of India’s sons and labourers.