While Agra’s Taj Mahal draws crowds from all over as the seventh wonder of the world, the white marble spectacle fails to find a mention in a new booklet released by the Uttar Pradesh government, to mark six months of Yogi Adityanath as the Chief Minister of the state.
The pamphlet, according to NDTV, is a tourism pamphlet that mentions important landmarks and tourist destinations in the state, including the Gorakhpur temple where the CM acts as the head priest. It was reportedly released by state tourism minister Rita Bahuguna.
Speaking to NDTV, state minister Sidharth Nath Singh clarified:
There has been some miscommunication which has undermined the Taj Mahal. We are even thinking of constructing an international airport at Agra for the convenience of the passengers.
CM Yogi Adityanath had been in news earlier in 2017 for saying the monument, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, is not a reflection of the Indian culture. He then went on to claim that foreign dignitaries are now being gifted copies of the Gita and Ramayana by government officials, instead of replicas of the marble mausoleum.
Deflecting the criticism meted out to the government over the slight, the state tourism department has reportedly offered an explanation, saying:
The booklet was released only for the purposes of a press conference and is not a guide to UP’s tourism spots. It mentions new and upcoming projects of the UP tourism department, and new focus areas. There are many ongoing projects of the UP tourism at the Taj Mahal – a parking project, a Taj Agra fort linkage project and a development project, among others.NDTV quoted Avanish Awasthi, a senior official of the UP Tourism Department
The UP minister of tourism, Rita Bahuguna Joshi denied that the Taj Mahal was deliberately omitted from the brochure.
Seeing everything in the light of religion and playing politics over it is not right. Those playing politics over this must know that people go to Mecca for Haj.Rita Bahuguna Joshi told Times of India