BJP leader stirs up Taj heritage controversy

NEW DELHI: UP BJP minister Laxmikant Bajpai has taken the fight over heritage of the Taj Mahal to UP Minority Affairs Minister Azam Khan’s doorstep and said the central Waqf Board cannot stake claim to the Taj Mahal as it is a Hindu Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.

“I have proved it earlier that the Taj Mahal is a a part of the palace of Raja Jaisingh and it is a temple of Lord Shankar and is called the Tejo Mahaleya. It is and shall always remain a part of Hindu heritage,” Laxmikant Bajpai said.

Azam Khan had earlier said that the Taj Mahal is the tomb of two Muslims and should be handed over to the central Waqf Board.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Thursday said Samajwadi Party leader and Uttar Pradesh’s minority affairs minister Azam Khan should not try to create misunderstanding among the people with his comment that the Taj Mahal should be handed over to the central Waqf Board, adding that one should not politicize the 17th century mausoleum.

“Azam Khan is trying to create a misunderstanding by making such comments. The Taj Mahal should not be politicized,” BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain had said.

However Azam Khan’s claims have been received with mixed opinions. While some Muslim leaders agree that the Taj Mahal should fall under the purview of the Sunni Waqf Board, other leaders feel the Taj Mahal can be best take care of by the Archeological Survey of India.

Lucknow Eidgah Imam Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangimahli had also shared Khan’s sentiments, reportedly saying that Muslims should be allowed to offer prayers at the Taj Mahal.

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