Remarks on Taj: PM, Yogi snub Som

Remarks on Taj: PM, Yogi snub Som

In an apparent snub to BJP legislator Sangeet Som, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that "nations cannot develop if they don’t take pride in their history and heritage".

The prime minister was speaking at the inauguration of the All India Institute of Ayurveda here.

On Monday, Som said the Taj Mahal was built by "traitors" and was a "blot" on Indian culture. The party has since distanced itself from the remarks.

"Who built the Taj Mahal is not important...what is important is that it has the sweat and blood of Indian labourers," Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath told reporters in Kushinagar district.

Adityanath, who had earlier said that Taj Mahal could not be termed as India's "cultural heritage", made a u-turn following criticism, and said that he would be visiting the monument during his visit to Agra on October 26.

He said that Taj Mahal attracted tourists from all over the world and that it was the responsibility of the government to maintain this symbol of heritage.

A source said that Adityanath has sought an explanation from Som.

The BJP leadership is wary of leaders like Som and their self-aggrandising statements since they have the potential of doing more harm to the party's interest in the run-up to the next round of elections to states such as Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat.

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