Anila Singh, one of the official spokespersons of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Uttar Pradesh, today said that Taj Mahal was a controversial monument and that its roots stretched back to a temple of Shiva.

Singh, who is often on TV to defend the Yogi Adityanath government, was responding to questions about why the monument was missing from the Uttar Pradesh government’s ‘pro-poor’ tourist brochure.

The brochure was released a few days ago by Rita Bahuguna, the former Congress leader who is now the minister of tourism, government of Uttar Pradesh.

The tourist brochure, which lists several other monuments and tourist attractions in the state, fails to mention the Taj Mahal, something that was highlighted by the media including CNN-IBN.

Anila Singh took objection when the news anchor asked whether the marble structure — considered one of the seven wonders of the world — was omitted because Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath recently said that it didn’t represent the Indian culture.

Singh said there was no need to imply that it was CM Adityanath who was making the structure ‘conversial’.

“It the main attraction for tourists in India. But if you are going to compare Taj Mahal with UP CM, I’m going to say that go and check your facts — whether the roots are just (of a) mazhar or they are deep enough to be a Shiv temple,” Singh said in a discussion on the CNN-IBN new channel.

“The controversy is already attached to Taj Mahal. Instead of saying that Yogi Adityanath is creating controversy again, you should correct that the Taj Mahal is already controversial,” she added.

“Are you not going to agree, is it not clear that Taj Mahal was built on a Shiv Temple? Was it a mazar (tomb),” she asked again.

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