New Delhi: Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Friday criticized Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan's remarks regarding the Taj Mahal, adding that the Uttar Pradesh Waqf Board should focus on the upkeep of the existing properties under its purview.
Naqvi was reacting to Khan's earlier remarks, stating that the Taj Mahal is the tomb of two Muslims and should be handed over to the Central Waqf Board.
"Today they are demanding Taj Mahal, later they might demand Red Fort or even the White House. Instead of new demands the board should focus on the proper up keeping of the existing waqf properties," Naqvi told ANI.
"The properties which are already under Waqf board are either encroached by the 'waqf mafia' or are in very poor condition," he added.
Meanwhile, Muslim cleric and Lucknow Eidgah Imam Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahali shared Khan's sentiments by stating that the demand to bring the Taj Mahal under the Waqf Board is legitimate and right.
"It should be noted that waqf boards were formed so that the registrations of all the Mosques, tombs and dargahs could be done by it. The Taj Mahal has the grave of Mumtaz Mahal, it is therefore a tomb and there is also a mosque on its premises. Because of this, the demand that the Taj Mahal should be registered under the waqf board is legitimate and right," Mahali said.
Mahali further said that that Muslims should be allowed to offer 'namaz' five times a day at the mosque at the Taj Mahal.
"There also a demand that permission should be granted to offer namaz five times during the day at the mosque in the Taj Mahal. The Archeological Survey of India (ASI) and the state government should together consider this and solve the matter," he added.