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Akhilesh Yadav Makes Light of Yogi’s Taj Tour, Says It’s Lord Ram’s ‘Kamaal’

Addressing reporters, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav said he was waiting for Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to get clicked on the iconic Tak Mahal bench. Yadav had visited the Mughal-era monument with his wife and Kannauj MP Dimple Yadav on Valentine's Day two years ago.

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Updated:October 26, 2017, 4:21 PM IST
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Akhilesh Yadav Makes Light of Yogi’s Taj Tour, Says It’s Lord Ram’s ‘Kamaal’
SP leader Akhilesh Yadav said the BJP “never considered” Taj Mahal as a heritage, but CM Yogi Adityanath (left) is now cleaning the monument’s West Gate.
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Lucknow: Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday made light of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's visit to the Taj Mahal, saying it is Lord Rama's "kamaal" (wonder).

"See how time changes...BJP did not consider it as heritage...and now the CM is cleaning West Gate of Taj Mahal with a 'jhaadu' (broom)," Yadav told reporters in the city.

"It's good that SP workers from Agra have come here, otherwise they would have used broom at West Gate of Taj. He (CM) is wielding broom there. We have nothing to do with it. It is Lord Rama's 'kamaal'," he said.

Tourists from all over the world visit the monument, he observed.

"I am waiting for him to get clicked on that seat (in front of Taj Mahal)," he said.

Yadav had visited the Taj as the UP chief minister over two years ago on Valentine's Day and sat on one of the benches in front of the monument along with his wife and Kannauj MP Dimple Yadav.

The visit is seen by many as a damage control exercise after a series of controversies erupted, beginning with a UP tourism department booklet not mentioning the white marble monument in its list of development projects in the state.

Subsequently, BJP MLA Sangeet Som called Taj Mahal a "blot on Indian history" and BJP MP Vinay Katiyar said it was originally a Shiva temple.

Even on Thursday, as Yogi was visiting the Taj Mahal, BJP MLA Jagan Prasad Garg maintained that the monument was built after destroying a Shiva Temple. The Mughals first demolished the temple and then built the Taj Mahal, the Agra North lawmaker told reporters.

However, addressing a rally in Gorakhpur recently, Adityanath called Taj Mahal the "pride of India" and referred to it as a "world class monument".

This was a significant departure from his remarks at a rally in Bihar last year, when he had said the Taj does not represent Indian culture and that visiting foreign dignitaries should be presented with the Gita rather than replicas of Taj Mahal.

The chief minister has already declared that the state government will spend Rs 370 crore on development plans aimed at promoting tourism in the city of Taj.

On Thursday, Akhilesh Yadav appealed to the people to support his party candidates in local bodies polls in the state that will be held soon.

"The polls to clean trash is near. I can assure that only the SP is capable of cleaning the garbage as it understands where to throw it," he said.

Yadav also attacked the state government for its "failure" on law and order front and blamed the Centre for "ruining" traders with demonetisation and GST.

"The BJP government has ruined the economy," he alleged.

About Gujarat Assembly polls, he said, "People of Gujarat have decided and BJP is going to lose there."

"Our party will contest five seats in Gujarat. We have sought five of the 182 seats from Congress and will support Congress in the remaining seats. We will contest five seats and that is final," he said.

(With PTI inputs)

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