Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan has said that he is ready to demolish the iconic Taj Mahal, asking Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to take the lead. Pointing that Adityanath had said that Taj Mahal was a temple of lord Shiva, Khan said that he was willing to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader in demolishing the same.
Speaking to news agency ANI, the Samajwadi Party leader said, “I was told by Yogi ji and others that Taj Mahal is actually a temple of lord Shiva. So for the Shiva temple to become a Shiva temple, I being a Muslim am saying that am willing to take around 20,000 others with rods and axes and walk along with Yogi Ji.”
#WATCH: Samajwadi Party's Azam Khan says, 'Taj Mahal is a Shiv Temple, Yogi Ji (UP CM) and many other people told me this. I am the kind of Muslim who walk with Yogi Ji & will also get 10-20 thousand other Muslims along, to demolish Taj Mahal.' pic.twitter.com/rh3gmUHDpR
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) June 28, 2018
“We will walk shoulder to shoulder with Yogi ji. The first hit on the Taj Mahal will be done by Yogi ji and the second will be by me. Taj Mahal should be demolished,” said Azam Khan. In an apparent dig at the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Khan referred to Taj Mahal as “Ghulami ki nishani (symbol of slavery)”.
In March, the Hindu Mahasabha had released a calendar wherein it had named Taj Mahal as ‘Tejo Mahalay Shiv Mandir’. It had referred to Qutub Minar as Vishnu Stambh and Kashi's Gyanvyapi mosque as Vishwanath temple. The calendar was released by the Aligarh unit of Hindu Mahasabha.
Apart from Qutub Minar and Taj Mahal, Madhya Pradesh's Kamal Maula Mosque was called Bhojshala and Jaunpur's Atala mosque was named 'Atla Devi temple'. Babri Masjid, demolished in 1992, was called Ram Janmabhoomi.